Ghostly Greetings all!! Halloween is just around the corner, and although things may be a little different this year, it’s still important to take care around our Adored Beasts.
This year, the Adored Beast Team got together and talked about our best Halloween Safety Tips to share. We all want to keep our pets as safe as possible all year round, and All Hallow’s Eve is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the nights that they probably need more protection than any other!
Our team members have pets at all ranges of the nervousness scale – from those who love to sit at the window and watch the trick or treaters parading down the street, to those who prefer the peace and quiet, to those who see this night as the most frightening of the year. This list will cover your pet no matter where they sit on the scale.
Halloween Safety Tips
Whether you’re handing out, sorting through the kids’ stash, or just munching away on your own treats, keep things like chocolate and candies out of reach – we don’t want our animals getting into them! Chocolate is arguably the most problematic, but beware of xylitol in candies – it’s a common sugar substitute and it’s toxic to our animals.
If you light candles to decorate, or have jack-o-lanterns inside or out, keep your pets away from them. Even better, consider using fake candles – they still flicker like the real thing, without the fire risk.
Want to dress up your pet? Make sure that’s something they actually want too. Some pets have fun with costumes, prancing around, showing off. Others, well, you can quickly tell if your dog or cat is uncomfortable. Don’t force your animal to dress up if they are not all for it.
If your dog or cat hangs out outside, make sure you’re with them at all times, or consider a cut off time for roaming the backyard. Avoid leaving your pet unattended outside, even if your yard is fenced. For cats in particular, be very careful. Julie recommends keeping cats in starting the day before, just to be extra careful. We hate to think that anyone would be cruel enough to do pranks on cats, but it has happened, and it’s always our goal to be extra careful.
Out and About
Walk early in the day to avoid the extra activity on the streets, the costumed crusaders, or those who might be out for no good on Halloween night. This is also a good way to tire them out if they tend to get stressed by trick or treaters.
If you’re walking at night, stay to the well-lit areas, but avoid the well-travelled ones. Remember, just because you love your pet, doesn’t mean all those kiddies will. And this just helps reduce any potential stressors for your pup.
Use glow sticks or glowing leashes if you are out and about with your dog in the dark. Don’t forget to wear bright colours or reflective material too; it gets dark early this time of year.
Make sure your pet has a collar with her up-to-date identification, just in case she gets loose amidst the chaos of the evening.
Halloween Safety Tips: Expert Advice
For the Fraidy Cats (and Dogs)
If you have a basement, quiet bedroom, or other safe space you can escape to, head there with your furry fam, and put on a movie or some music so they don’t hear all the comings and goings. If you want to partake in the Halloween festivities, make sure this safe space is available for your dog to come and go. For cats, we suggest keeping them in the room with water and their litter box so they can’t get out with the door opening and closing all the time.
There are several natural remedies that can significantly calm an anxious pet. Julie’s top homeopathic remedies are:
- Aconite 1M or 200C given 1 hour prior to sunset. It can be given as needed throughout the evening, up to 1 dose every hour for 4 doses.
- If you already know your pet gets anxious on Halloween, Julie recommends adding argentum nitricum 200C, given along with the aconite.
- For a fear of fireworks or loud noises (if fireworks are happening), add phosphorus 200C to that mix as well.
For a fear of costumes, noise, and just the whole Halloween experience in general, take 2 pellets of each remedy, add them to a cup of water, let them dissolve for 30 minutes to an hour, and give the water to your pet. Do this an hour before sunset, and continue into the night if needed, up to four doses.
- 3 teaspoons for large dose
- 2 teaspoons for medium dogs
- 1 teaspoon for small dogs or cats
For the fear of fireworks, if your animal is afraid to go outside the next day, continue the argentum nitricum and aconite twice a day for 2 days.
Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy is also a good choice. Start putting it in your animal’s water, 4-5 drops, in the afternoon. Make sure it’s xylitol free.
CBD is also good for some natural calming. Give them a dose before trick or treating starts. Follow the directions on the bottle for proper dosing.
We asked our good friend, canine herbalist Rita Hogan, to share some of her best calming advice. Here’s what she told us: Giving dogs a glycerine extract of skullcap the day of Halloween can be helpful in calming dogs with all the excitement of Halloween. Here are some dosage guidelines:
- 5 drops for extra small dogs
- 8 drops for small dogs
- 12 drops for medium dogs
- 15 drops for large dogs
- 20 drops for extra-large dogs
Chamomile also is a good option. Use the same dosage amounts above.
Also, milk thistle and activated charcoal are good for dogs who ingest chocolate.
Change Your Perspective (and Your Dog’s)
We were also talking to our good friend, Dr. Isla Fishburn of Kachina Canine, this week, and she had some tips to share as well!!
This time of year can mean your dog’s routine is a little unexpected and out of the ordinary. It might be difficult for you to know how your dog will respond to frequent calls and knocks on the door and seeing people dressed in a way they are not used to. It can be a really scary time for dogs and not in a fun, spooky way. For some dogs, helping them feel more content this time of year may require some more intense practices and methods, but some simple things you can do to support your dog with frequent house calls can include:
- Explain to your dog what will be happening. I know this might sound crazy, but many dogs can freak out because we assume they don’t understand what we say to them so there is no point explaining. But, words hold a vibration and a consciousness, so if we speak consciously and explain that “tonight/this weekend the door bell is going to ring or there will be a lot of people knocking on the door” then it provides information for your dog.
- Don’t panic and rush to the door. Going from a quiet, relaxed, and content state to a mad dash to the door can trigger your dog into reacting and panicking. When there is someone at the door, take a deep breath, relax, and answer the door calmly.
- Leave those candy treats in a bucket outside as an honesty gesture. Leave a note that says “my dog gets spooked on Halloween so help yourself but please be considerate of others who will call round after you.” When the treats are gone, they are gone.
- Don’t focus on what your dog will do, but what you would like him/her to do. We can get so focused on how a dog is going to respond that we feed this happening. For example, we might tell ourselves “every time the doorbell goes, my dog is going to go mad,” but by doing this we’re already creating the action to happen in our mind. Instead, make time in your day to imagine how you would like your dog to respond. See him/her maybe giving a couple of woofs at the knock of a door rather than going crazy.
- If possible, move to another room with your dog that is not at the front of your house/door. Leave your dog in this room as you answer the door and do so in a calm and relaxed way.
- Playing some relaxing music and spending time relaxing with your dog can help. If you are getting up tight, your dog will too.
Thanks to Rita and Isla for sharing their expertise with us!
Happy Halloween everyone! Be sure to use these Halloween Safety Tips to keep everyone safe all evening long!