Tricks and treats to keep your pet safe this Halloween

When 31 October rolls around, many of us love to dress up and have fun for Halloween. If you’ve got a pet cat or dog, we’ve got some tricks to help make your Halloween spook-tacular.

Here are 5 tricks and treats for keeping your pet safe this Halloween.

Hide the human treats

Just like Eastertime, Halloween heralds chocolate, lollies and sweet treats that are tasty for humans but potentially poisonous for dogs and cats. Chocolate, raisins, sugar-free lollies and caramel apples are particularly toxic, so it’s best to keep all Halloween treats safely locked away from your pet.

Plan your decorations carefully

Some pets just can’t help themselves. We’ve paid out pet insurance claims after pets have eaten weird things like string, hair ties and even a blanket – all requiring emergency veterinary treatment. Make a list of your decorations so you’ll notice if one goes missing and keep a close eye on pets who think everything is a chew toy.

Be mindful of pet costumes

Poorly-fitted costumes can restrict your pet’s movement, and cause skin problems, stress and overheating. Elaborate costumes with added parts can be choking hazards, too. If you do choose to put your pet in an outfit or clothing, make sure they’re comfortable and happy in it, and remove it if they look stressed or uncomfortable.

Create a safe space

Got a scaredy cat or a nervous dog? Pacing, hiding and going to the toilet indoors/outside their litter box are all signs of anxiety. Costumes and decorations could startle your pet, leading to fight-or-flight reactions like biting and scratching or running away (tip: make sure your pet’s tag and registration are up to date). Put nervous pets in a quiet room or corner away from ringing doorbells and costumed visitors.

If you know your furry friend is particularly skittish, talk to your vet. The extra visitors and noise at this time of year can be stressful for pets and your veterinarian may be able to recommend calming supplements or diffusers.

Watch out for door bolters

Halloween could bring lots of visitors to your door, including children who may not be used to pets. If you have a dog (or cat) that isn’t trained yet, who loves to run off or jump at visitors, have a plan to keep pets and visitors safe. You could put up a sign warning visitors or leave lollies in a bowl by your gate to stop people from coming to your door.

With these tricks up your witch’s sleeve, you can ensure Halloween is nothing but a treat for you and your furry besties.

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