Doors opening and closing can mean pets may get out and get lost. More traffic on our streets may mean more opportunities for them to get hit by a car.
Costumed children can be scary, and there’s a chance that Bowser, normally great with kids, will become frightened. He may become confused, aggressive, or protective, biting when he normally would not.
Cats, especially black cats, should be confined to the house for several days prior to the holiday. People have been known to use cats in satanic rituals, torturing and killing them in their twisted celebrations.
Candy left on counters and baubles on costumes may prove too tempting for dogs and puppies to ignore.
Halloween is second to Christmas for pets ending up in the animal ER for eating stuff they shouldn’t and right behind the Fourth of July for being hit by a car.
Halloween safety tips
With this in mind, I suggest the following:
- Make sure all pets wear identification.
- Keep door-bolting dogs tied to a heavy piece of furniture or shut in another room. Keep cats behind closed doors inside the house.
- Keep candy, especially candy containing chocolate or raisins, securely out of the reach of all pets.
- If you have a sight-sensitive dog — likely if you have a border collie, German shepherd, or another herding breed — have the dog watch the kids get into their costumes. Having a vampire or zombie suddenly appear inside the house can severely frighten certain dogs that rely on what they see to determine how to respond to things. Most dogs rely on scent, but the herding breeds frequently react to what they see before their nose gets a chance to kick in.
- Do not give any candy, cookies or popcorn treats to pets.
Dog-safe Halloween treat
Instead, try my dog-approved easy pumpkin dog treats.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine whole wheat flour with a little self-rising flour, a few whole eggs, and some canned pumpkin mixed with a little water.
I’m vague with the amounts because it really doesn’t matter.
Create a well-mixed ball of dough and spread it onto a floured counter. Roll flat with a rolling pin until about one-quarter of an inch thick. Pick the whole thing up and place it on a non-stick cookie sheet. Take a pizza cutter and slice the dough to get your desired cookie size.
Bake until crispy, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes depending on the dough’s thickness. Add a little more pumpkin and self-rising flour for softer biscuits. You can also throw in a little vanilla or use unsalted meat broth in place of water. Your pets will love them.
Terry Jester is a nationally recognized expert on companion animal behavior. She is regarded by The Humane Society of the United States as being “Humane and effective in dealing with problem pets and their owners.” Connect with Terry on her website.