Protect your pets at Halloween

When dogs and cats are frightened, they are more likely to run away from their homes.

While Halloween is great fun for kids

With Halloween here, it’s a good time to think about how you can keep your pets safe and happy when the trick-or-treaters come calling.

While Halloween is great fun for kids, the fireworks, strange costumes and constant ringing of the doorbell can spook even the calmest of animals. When dogs and cats are frightened, they are more likely to run away from their homes, jump out of open windows or dart into traffic. Stressed pets can also behave out of character —scratching or biting out of fear.

The BC SPCA offers these Halloween safety tips:

• Keep pets inside

Pets who are inside have fewer opportunities to confront trick-or-treaters. Some pets do well left in a separate room with the radio or television on to mask the sound of fireworks and trick-or-treaters. Be sure to leave plenty of toys in the room for your pet so that he doesn’t think he’s being isolated as a punishment.

If your pet finds the doorbell disturbing, consider disconnecting the doorbell for the night. Alternatively, you can leave a bowl of treats near the door outside where trick-or-treaters can help themselves.

• Identification

Make sure your pet is wearing identification. Dogs and cats may try to run away if they feel threatened. Clear, current identification is your best chance to have them returned to you.

• Don’t console your anxious pet

While it is natural to want to comfort your pet if he or she is frightened of fireworks, it is better to use a bright, cheerful voice to send a message that things are fine. Avoid saying things like, “it’s okay” or “don’t be scared” in a soft or sympathetic voice. This only reinforces your pet’s fearful behaviour.

Lorie Chortyk• Candy is for people

Candy can lead to health problems such as diabetes or obesity, and chocolate is especially dangerous because it contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Keep treats well away from your pets.

• Leave home without them

While you might think it would be fun to bring your dog trick-or-treating, your pet may not share your view. The strange sights and sounds of Halloween can cause a normally friendly dog to bite if they feel scared or threatened.

• Don’t dress up your pet

Dressing your dog in a costume inhibits his ability to communicate normally with other dogs, making him prone to display aggression himself or be subjected to aggressive behaviour from other dogs.

For more information on how to make this Halloween a safe one for your pet, visit spca.bc.ca.

Lorie Chortyk is the general manager, community relations, for the BC SPCA.

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

MINTY: Surrey group’s retreat offers a sort of beach party/camp with dancing

Also, FVGSS theatre company’s costume and fabric sale planned at warehouse in Newton

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Most Read