Helping Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Howl-O-Ween

Photo courtesy of Hadley Parritz

Halloween is a holiday that is designed to be scary, which makes this anything but Fear-Free for your pet. Besides having to keep the candy out of reach, making sure your furry family member doesn’t get scared from the costumes or noises can be a challenge. Here are some tips to making Halloween Fear-Free instead of fearful!

Dressing Up

While people may love dressing up in costumes, our pets may not feel the same way. When putting a costume on your pet, their body language can tell a lot. If they put their head and tail down, or they are pawing at the material, then a costume may not be something they are comfortable wearing. If your pet does not mind wearing a costume, make sure it fits properly and that there are no loose parts that can get snagged or ingested.

Also, our pets may not be used to us wearing costumes and the sight of seeing us in a mask or unusual outfit may be alarming to them. Let your furry family member get used to your costume and help create a positive association by giving them treats while you wear it.

Safe Space

Knowing your pet’s comfort level can help determine how to make Halloween a stress-free holiday. If your furry family member is a little shy or reserved, consider creating a pet-safe room for them to hang out in if you plan on having trick-or-treaters or guests come by. This room should have your pet’s favorite treats, toys and any other items that make them feel safe. About an hour before trick-or-treaters or guests arrive, put your pet in this room to make them as comfortable as possible.

Trick or Treat

If you plan on hosting a party or having a lot of trick or treaters at your place, it may ease your pet’s anxiety if you ditch your doorbell for the night. There are motion sensor decorations that can alert you when people are about to arrive. You can also set up an area in your driveway or by the sidewalk to hand out candy, so the constant ringing of the doorbell does not disturb your furry family member.

For any further questions on how to help your pet have a Fear-Free Halloween, please give us a call at: (773) 327-4446.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.