Ahh it must be Halloween time! The smell of roasted pumpkin, the colours of orange and brown are everywhere, and there are fake spider webs hanging up (covering up real ones!).
Halloween is fast approaching! It also happens to be one of our team member’s favourite holiday. So we are a little enthusiastic about it here at CPC!
Fun tips for Halloween
Halloween is a great time for friends to get together, watch a scary movie and take the kids out trick or treating. Not forgetting the brilliant outfits and a huge glut of sweet treats too!
We have thought of some ways to ensure that your Halloween is fun and safe for you and your pet. Here are our 9 top tips!
It was estimated that the UK would spend £7bn on their pets this year alone! Certainly not all, but some of that huge sum might come in the form of doggy Halloween costumes! We’ll be discussing these further in our mini blog this week, but we wanted to say: make sure your pet’s costume is comfortable.
If your pet feels a bit silly they will show this in their behaviour, but if your pet can’t breathe properly, things might turn from fun to terrifying very quickly! Always check the suitability and size of the costume, and monitor your pet whilst wearing it. Be aware that the spider costume may look really cute on your pup, but if someone is morbidly terrified of spiders (like me!), they may not instantly recognise it’s a dog in a costume. If you’re out, make sure you keep your pup on a lead!
Trick or Treating Visibility
Speaking of going out with your pup, have you noticed how many more people take their dogs trick or treating?! We love that trend and love seeing all the different costumes the kids and dogs (and parents/older siblings) are wearing!
If you’re going to take your pup out with you trick or treating, make sure he is visible. Add in some safe lighting to his costume such as a light up collar or harness. Failing that, attach a light or torch to his lead or collar.
Keep pets in
Not thinking of going out trick or treating? Or perhaps you have a cat that isn’t fond of walkies? If you’re not going to be taking your pet with you, then keep them inside on Halloween.
Sadly, Halloween is one of those times of the year that more animals are stolen or abused while in their garden or out roaming? If you have a cat or outside rabbit, bring them in for the evening on Halloween to keep them safe. If you don’t live in a very rural area and have domestic livestock (such as chickens, ducks, geese, goats, etc) then make sure you check on them every so often.
Use ID tags
Even with the best intentions, it’s not always possible to keep our pets indoors or fully under our control. Accidents happen and determined pets may escape, but having ID will help them be returned to their owner.
Since April 2016 it has been law to microchip your dog. We strongly suggest microchipping your cats and horses too. Putting identification tags on your cat and dog will mean your number is visible to whoever finds them should they escape or mange to run away from you.
Halloween through to Fireworks Night on the 5th November sees more and more people using fireworks, and some pets do not handle the loud bangs very well. If your pet is scared and bolts due to fear, you will be reunited earlier if they have visible ID.
We know, we know… it’s not Halloween without treats, right? Well yes and no. The treats you get from trick or treating are really not suitable for your pets as they contain way too much sugar and other ingredients that aren’t great.
What if there was another way? Good question. Luckily, there is! Take a look at our 5 DIY pet treats and Great British Bark Off blogs for some inspiration. Or subscribe to our newsletter for an exclusive pet treat recipe (suitable for cats and dogs, but can easily be adapted for other animals) and get baking! We’ve also included some printable custom labels for your DIY pet treats, so you can give treats to the kids and the dogs that come knocking!
Monitor around decorations
This tip came from our team member, Nicole, who loves Halloween: “One of my favourite things about Halloween is the smell of roasting pumpkin! I’m not actually a fan of the taste of pumpkin, but the smell of cooking pumpkin is absolutely intoxicating! In my house we always get pumpkins in and carve them into spooky shapes. We’ve usually got at least 4 with candles in sitting by the window on Halloween night, and the house smells like roasting pumpkin!”.
Sounds lovely! The problem, however, is that roasting pumpkin smells just as good to your pet as it does to you! Do be careful to keep an eye on your pets around potentially hazardous decorations like live flames and dry ice. Pets that enjoy a good climb (like inquisitive kitties) should also be monitored around hanging decorations (such as spider webs and fairy lights). These may not be as stable as your pet thinks when they stand on them!!
Halloween can be a stressful time for your pets. Friends coming over, a change of scenery with new decorations, lots of new smells plus the trick or treaters! A recent trend has seen an increase in fireworks being used at Halloween. Many pets are scared of fireworks and the big bangs, in some pets this can be potentially fatal.
If your pet is particularly affected by the noises and disturbances over Halloween, you can talk to your vet to see if there’s anything they can suggest. Depending on the severity of your pet’s anxiety, your vet may prescribe sedatives to help calm your pet.
Nervous or territorial pets away from the door!
Have you got a nervous dog? Or how about a dog, who is intent on protecting his territory from everyone? If your dog usually barks whenever the door bell rings, it might be an idea to keep him away from the door over Halloween. If you live in an area that gets a high level of trick or treaters, the constant disruption could be quite stressful for your pooch. On a more serious note, if your dog looks aggressive when you answer the door to someone not used to animals, the consequences might not be very cheerful.
Keep an eye out for black cats
It’s a very sad fact that black cats are not as wanted as their more colourful brothers and sisters. The Cats Protection Organisation has estimated that they have 23% more black cats to rehome. They take, on average, a week longer to find their forever homes.
Another very upsetting statistic shows that black cats are more likely to suffer abuse during the Halloween season than at any other time of the year.
There are a rising number of animal shelters that will not allow black cats to be adopted just before Halloween. This is due to a good proportion of them coming back just a few day after Halloween, unwanted. Adopting an animal to be part of a Halloween costume or display only is disgusting behaviour and should be absolutely discouraged.
If you spot a cat (or any other animal) in distress please call the RSPCA emergency line on: 0300 1234 999. If you suspect immediate danger of abuse, call 999.