Halloween is normally a fun and exciting time of year. Though for pets, it can be very frightening, least we not forget about the strays that are in danger on this night. It goes without saying that all pets should be kept in for the duration of Halloween night and even the days before and after. So now you've got an anxious cat or dog in your house, listening to trick-or-treaters and fireworks all night long. Luckily, we’ve got some handy tips to help get you through All-Hallows Eve.
Loud Noises and Fireworks:
Loud noises and fireworks are the bane of most animal’s existence, especially small pets such as rabbits and hamsters. All pets are naturally frightened by loud noises, especially when they can't see what is making the noise! Imagine you were in their place: You have no concept of Halloween and even less of an idea about what fireworks are. You automatically assume every noise is a threat and are on alert every time you hear something out of the ordinary. I doubt us humans would fair out much better than our animal companions if the previous, was indeed, the case. On Halloween night, pets should be kept in the quietest room in the house, away from the front door at all costs. You may also want to spend some time with your pet, comforting and reassuring them that everything is ok.
Strays and Animal Abuse:
Halloween is a very dangerous time for stray pets and animals to be left outside. For whatever reason, some people find it "hilarious" to abuse animals with fireworks on this night of the year. While it would be great for you to take these stray animals in (even for the night), it’s not just as easy as that. If you do see or come across any animal being abused on Halloween, or any time of the year for that matter, we urge you to call An Garda Síochána and report the crime immediately. While An Garda will be very busy on Halloween, it is vital that these crimes are reported so that the perpetrators can be found and dealt with. In no situation is cruelty towards animals acceptable, and interfering with stray pets and lost animals on Halloween is a heinous crime against nature, let alone a punishable offence in our society.
Sweets and Chocolate:
While a lot of the festivities surrounding Halloween include dressing up and setting off fireworks; chocolates, sweets, crisps and drinks are plentiful too. It is very easy for kids and adults alike to forget that cats and dogs are unable to eat chocolate or sugar-free sweets. Always be aware of the sweets you let fall on the ground as most pets will instantly lick them up or scurry off with them. Sweets commonly fall to the floor and alcohol is spilled, all of which is toxic to most animals. If you do own a pet and you're hosting an NPHET Compliant gathering, make sure that your furry companion is kept well away from the main thoroughfare of guests and revellers. A quiet back room is normally ideal for this purpose, as long as the animal has plenty of food and water and is regularly checked in on.
Leaving Your Pet at Home:
If you really must leave your pet unattended for a number of hours, make sure that they have plenty of food and water. Also make sure that the room they will be staying in for this duration has a certain degree of soundproofing. Fireworks on their own are bad enough for pets, but a missing owner and loud noises? A guaranteed recipe for disaster. You might just come home to your lovely leather suite ripped and torn to bits (if you own a cat or dog, a rabbit might have a difficult time ruining a leather sofa). Considering that it’ll be a Covid-19 Halloween, ask yourself if you really must go out!
If you run into any pet-related emergencies on the spookiest night of the year, you can always give us a call! We’re one of the only Vets in Dublin and Meath with a dedicated emergency service available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. To find out more about this service (preferably not during an emergency), click here. Otherwise, call 01 8213189 for our Meath and North Dublin clinic, or 01 2987510 for our South Dublin clinic.