“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
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When October comes around the fall activities kick-off in high gear, leading up to the main event that we all know and love — Halloween! The one day of the year where people can put on elaborate costumes and horror-enthusiasts thrive. However, while the holiday can be very fun for us, we also want to make it fun, and safe, for our pets. I’ve put together some tips that make surviving until November 1st less of a trick and more of a treat!
Skip the candy: I promise you can keep all the sweets to yourself! Chocolates and sugary treats can be very harmful to your pets, so it’s best to save them for the trick-or-treaters. Though, it’s not just the candy. Be mindful of where your wrappers are! Wrappers and foils aren’t easily digestible which can cause blockages and become a choking hazard. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Watch the door: Staying inside and passing out candy is a perfectly reasonable way to hunker down for the night. However, opening the door often can give opportunistic pets an escape route. If you’re worried your pets might try to bolt, it may be easier to keep them in a separate room or kenneled during trick-or-treat hours.
No spooks, no stress: Piggybacking off of the tip above; the continuous opening and closing of the door, ringing of doorbells, and general noise associated with groups of people approaching the house can be stressful or confusing to pets. If your dogs are easily stressed by these situations, try exercising them earlier in the day to wear them out a bit. Afterward, providing them with something like a treat toy, puzzle game, or a bone, to offer a distraction from the commotion can be very effective!
No dog left behind: If you want to take your dog trick-or-treating with you, that’s great! But it’s not recommended to leave them in the car. It can be frightening to sit alone while waves of strangers pass in costumes of various shapes and sizes. If you’re leaving pets in the house while you go out, check to make sure doors are secured, candy is out of reach and turn your porch light off so fewer people try to knock on your door! It’s strongly recommended that you do not leave pets outside unattended during the night.
Costume smart: We aren’t the only ones who can dress up for this festive night. Dogs and cats are frequently pictured in cute get-ups! Though, remember that not every pet may like being in costume, and if they appear uncomfortable or stressed, it may be wiser to leave the costumes to the people!
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These are just a few key tips to making sure your spooky night is a smooth sail! Halloween is commonly known for being a stressful holiday for most pets, but keeping these things in mind will make it fun for everyone! If you’re going to stay in with your dogs and skipping the candy distribution, here are some activity ideas to fill your night!
Costume contest: Do you have multiple pets and people in the house? Are they comfortable dressing up? Well, gather the troops and have yourselves a little costume contest!
Snack time: Find yourself a simple and healthy treat to make so your dogs can get in on the treat action! It’ll make them feel better after watching you eat all the candy without sharing.
Hide-n-go-treat: Subsequently, whether you make some treats or already have some laying around, put your dog’s nose to the test to do their own little bit of ‘trick-or-treating’!
Bobbing for snacks: This is a game with easy set-up and very customisable. A little bit of water in a bin and your dogs could bob for apple slices, hot dogs or fruit infused ice cubes! If your dog is motivated enough, you could even use toys. The possibilities are endless!
Okay, okay. I know there are a lot of activities that involve snacks. You don’t need to do all of them in one night, of course, to spare your dog’s stomach, but I think you get the idea now! It all boils down to making sure pets are kept in mind to make it a fun and safe holiday evening for all!
— Guest Writer, Shannon
Images by @idyllwanders & @uponakatana