Halloween parties are a great way to celebrate all that is frightening, creepy and ridiculous about being human. But for our non-human companions who don’t quite understand the reasoning behind the celebration (most people don’t either), these events can pose a number of hazards.
When hosting a Halloween party, it’s easy to get caught up in it all and become overly enthusiastic about the decorations, outfits and activities.
But while you’re busy bobbing for apples in your Frankenstein get-up, your dog or cat might be trembling in a corner all tangled up in his/her mummy costume watching terrifying visitors rampage through their yard.
Pet Insurance Australia (PIA) advises all pet owners to consider their pet’s safety during any spooky celebrations they might be holding.
Halloween Party Tips for Pets
Nadia Crighton from PIA says owners should consider keeping their pets away from the party to ensure they don’t ingest items such as alcohol, human food, popped ballons or ribbons.
“During celebrations much of these items are left unattended in the environment, which can spell disaster for pets,” she says.
“So if you are not able to supervise your pet it is best to keep them away from celebrations in a quiet safe place.”
PIA also reminds pet owners to always monitor their animals if the animal is dressed up.
“Pet costumes are very funny and it’s great to get your pets into the spirit of the event,” Crighton says.
“However, always remove the costume when your pet is not being 100% supervised, to prevent injury.”
Halloween Pet Safety Checklist
PIA has provided pet-owners with a pet-safe Halloween party checklist of things to remember.
Remove pet costumes
When your pet is not being supervised, be sure to take the costumes they’re wearing off. They might try to remove it themselves and get stuck or caught up in it and ending up getting hurt or worse.
If you are happy to have your guests interacting with your pets, keep a specially-marked treat jar nearby to encourage people to treat from this jar and not their plates. Not everyone knows that dogs/cats aren’t supposed to eat certain things.
A secure/safe place to go
Animals shouldn’t be forced to endure the noises and zany antics of you and your guests and should always have somewhere to retreat to if they’re tired or frightened. For pets that aren’t allowed indoors, the bathroom (not being used) or laundry can be good places.
Keep chocolate and alcohol out of reach of paws
Don’t leave chocolate, alcohol or other unsuitable food/drink lying around or on the ground for pets get their paws on. Otherwise, an expensive trip to the vets for an upset stomach might be on the cards.
Of course, if your animal is being deliberately kept away from the party scene to avoid danger to him/her and your guests, don’t forget to put up a sign to label where he/she is being kept. You wouldn’t want someone mistakenly entering a room thinking it’s the bathroom and being attacked. That’s not the right kind of horror you want on Halloween.
You should remind guests to close doors/gates in case your pet decides to go trick-or-treating on its own. But after a few drinks, people can become easily forgetful, so putting up signs on all doors/gates can serve as a better reminder.
In case your pet does manage escape – running away in fear of the creepy-looking guests that have taken over his/her space – ensure that their collar is marked with up-to-date information. That way, if someone finds your animal lost and confused on a different street, they can return him/her back to your house of horrors.
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