This is direct from the “Say It Ain’t So” Dept.! Yep, our pets hate Halloween. They don’t understand it. They don’t know why so many strangers are coming and going. And, while we like to scare people on Halloween, our pets are also extremely fearful on Halloween.
There’s science behind the anxiety and it reveals an antidote to this witch’s brew.
Our pets are conditioned to regularity. They’re accustomed to schedules, the same people coming and going, and they’re wired to love us because they understand we’re protecting them. They understand what’s normal. They understand shapes. And they know a human generally appears a certain way. Disrupt all of that with the bizarre – crazy colors, extra limbs, flashing lights – and, frankly, our pets aren’t too happy.
From a variety of sources and animal experts, here are the best tips for keeping your four-legged goblin sane.
Avoid people in costumes
People appear much differently when they’re in a costume. Their shapes, limbs and colors are all different and our pets see these changes as a threat.
If you dress up your pet, reward him
Kibble (dry pet food) is perfect to reward your pet, if you’re like us and decide to costume your pet. A costume that mimics something your pet might normally wear is best, such as a sweater. If your pet hates the costume – really hates it – you’ll know. Look into her eyes and see what she’s communicating. It’s best to “try on” the costume a few times before the big day.
Bring pets inside
While Halloween is a howling fun time for humans, all the fun could be dangerous for Fido. Every Halloween there are reports of pets being harmed by humans. And if you’re handing out treats when the doorbell rings, it’s best to confine your pet to prevent fear and possible escape.
The “stuff” of Halloween is not safe for pets
Chocolate, which is toxic to pets, and pumpkins that might be moldy should never be ingested. And while glow sticks are non-toxic, keep them away from pets. The fluid’s taste is reportedly awful and, if ingested, will make for a long night and potential vomiting.
Prepare to find your pet
Many pets, because of fear, become lost on Halloween. Check out our BarkBlog on lost pets for tips on preparing to find your pet quickly.
Halloween is fun
Pets will generally follow our lead. If we’re having fun, our pets will too. And everyone deserves a ‘Happy Halloween!’