San Diego, CA – Earlier sunsets, colorful leaves, and cooler temperatures herald a new fall season full of delicious fall flavors, cherished traditions, and new celebrations that may have important implications for beloved pets.
Whether you’re planning on dressing up in matching costumes with your pup for a night on the town, or snuggling up with your cat at home after trick-or-treating, Halloween is a great opportunity to socialize with furry family members to ally while you take care of their overall health and well-being.
Follow these tips to keep your pets safe and happy for a spooky Halloween and festive fall season:
Make safety a priority
Brushing up on some behaviors can help pets and pet owners feel more prepared to enjoy the evening’s celebrations. Pets can be startled by masks and costumes. By preparing pets and their surroundings early, pet owners can help ensure safety and build confidence in their pets’ ability to handle the spooky sights and sounds that can accompany the Halloween season.
Keep away Halloween treats and decorations like candy, chocolate, and fake cobwebs, as they can all be toxic to dogs. If a pet accidentally ingests toxic food or other materials, contact a veterinarian or the Animal Poisons Helpline immediately. The doorbell can also be a trigger for many pets.
To relieve stress, try eliminating doorbell access for the evening and use a motion sensor to alert you when trick-or-treating comes to the door. Pet parents can enlist the help of a professional dog trainer in person and online for training tips. Online trainers can give real-time instructions and practice dry runs with the holiday setup.
Prepare for a night out
For pet parents who want a night out with their cat, small animal, or reptile, or whose puppies exhibit fear, anxiety, and stress around new people or pets, there are ways to create a peaceful yet fun space in the home.
Some furry friends can be shy around strangers – especially in costumes – or struggle with strange noises, large outdoor decorations, or noises; Therefore, creating a “safe zone” or quiet area within the home environment before and during peak trick-or-treating season is crucial.
Frequent door knocking and street activity can be overwhelming. So help reduce potential stress with soothing solutions like chews, interactive toys, and a cozy bed in a space where the pet can feel safe and secure. All dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear proper identification.
light up the night
A few extra precautions are needed when out and about after dark, and Reddy, Petco’s exclusive premium lifestyle and fashion brand, is helping to keep pets safe and stylish with new night safety gear.
Features like fiber optic lights, LED beacons, and reflective trim found in Reddy’s harnesses, leashes, collars, and bandanas help keep pets highly visible even after the sun goes down.
Find the perfect costume
With a total of more than 440 items, including more than 150 products under $15.00, Petcos Halloween Bootique has everything pets and their families need to get in the holiday spirit.
The line offers costumes and accessories for every pet personality at all price points, including stylish dog and cat costumes, bandanas, cozy pajamas and a variety of headwear. Even small animals can celebrate with costumes for rabbits, guinea pigs and bearded dragons.
Visit petco.com/Halloween or visit a Petco pet care center for more information, guidance, and recommendations to help you celebrate Halloween safely with pets.
*Darris Cooper is the National Dog Training Manager at Petco. He has worked in the animal training and behavior, animal lifestyle and broadcast journalism industries and has been a professional dog trainer for more than 10 years.