As much as we like to think of our pets as our little children, being of different species we do enjoy and experience things differently. Halloween is one time of year that this becomes very clear. Pets rely on us to help life make sense and to feel safe and this is one night they need an extra hand from their human friends.

  1. Be careful with the costumes

    Yes, many pets are perfectly fine being decked-out in funny, ridiculous and adorable gear at Halloween. Other pets find the costumes irritating or frightening. Introduce your pet to the costume another day before Halloween to see how they react and to get them used to the idea. Also, make sure it is a costume that gives them freedom of movement and vision so they aren’t left helpless or put in danger.

  2. Take extra care of black cats

    Superstitions around black cats are centuries old and don’t necessarily make sense, but Halloween is one time when the myths are especially in people’s minds. When children and teenagers are in a rowdy, prank-happy mood, it may be best to keep your black cats indoors or under your watchful eye.

  3. Consider keeping all pets indoors

    In fact, unless a pet is very social, but also able to stand up for themselves, being out in the yard with streams of oddly-dressed strangers running by is often a scary or aggression-inspiring experience. To be safe, consider just keeping them indoors for the night.

  4. Watch out for chocolates and other foods

    You know to do this all year long, but on this particular night, there just happens to be so much more of the stuff around. Chocolate is potentially deadly if consumed in large quantities by pets. Raisins and grapes are actually also deadly if you opt for healthier snacks. Thankfully at least the pumpkins and corn are nontoxic to pets, although, for carnivores like cats and dogs, they still may cause some indigestion.

  5. Doors and visitors

    Does your dog act defensively when strangers ring the doorbell or stand at an open door? Well, on this particular night there will likely be a lot of that. If you have a crate for your pet, it may be smart to just keep them crated and with some distractions like calm music and treats in another room. It is common for pets to even run out the front door and become lost on Halloween, so that’s another reason to be wary of the opening door.

There are many other safety tips one can consider, like not putting flames in your jack-o-lanterns and making sure your pet’s identification tags are on that night, but you know your pet best. You know what is likely to scare them and what they are comfortable with. Remember, they are relying on you to make their Halloween a safe and fun one, so don’t have so much fun of your own you forget about them.

If you do run into problems, those in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Pittsboro, Durham and the surrounding areas can rely on Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Pet Resort to be ready to help.

We are used to the increase in traffic around Halloween night and can be there for your pets if trouble arises. Call (919) 942-6330 for assistance.