03/10/2019 12:00 AM
Kids love being spooked on Halloween, but the frightful festivities can be dangerous for pets. Read on for our top five tips on how to keep your pet happy and healthy over Halloween – and remember to buy pet insurance to make sure your moggy or pooch is covered for any mishaps.
Is your pet startled by your doorbell? Or bothered by visitors? Then they’ll find a constant stream of ghouls and witches to your home very spooky indeed.
Trick-or-treaters are likely to look alarming, be loud and excited, and visit your doorstep in large groups.
A startled puppy or kitten might bolt while you’re dishing out sweets on your doorstep. They're likely to find the streets on Halloween a pretty alarming place to be and could run outside their territory and get lost.
Unless you have a very mellow moggy or peaceful pooch, it’s wise to keep them safely shut in a bedroom for the duration of Halloween. Don’t feel guilty, however much they whine or scratch to be let out – it’s just one evening, and it’s for their own good.
As always, make sure your pet is microchipped and has a collar with your contact details on it. That way, if your pooch or moggy is spooked on Halloween, you stand a far better chance of being reunited safely before the end of the witching hour.
And since your cat or dog could get injured while out on their nocturnal travels, make sure they’re covered by good pet insurance. Some policies cover lost or straying animals, too.
Of course, you want your home to look scary at Halloween but make sure your decorations are the right side of dangerous.
That means no trailing wires where your dog might trip, harming your animal and potentially even causing an electric fire. Chewed wires or batteries could be fatal for your pet, too.
Definitely no lit pumpkins where your puss could pounce, singeing its fur or even setting your home alight.
And even apparently harmless decorations could be harmful if broken or swallowed.
The last thing you want this Halloween is an urgent trip to the vet – but make sure you’ve got pet insurance just in case.
So you want to involve your pet in the festive fun? Perhaps you’re eyeing up a costume for your canine companion, or fancy dress for your favourite feline?
While it’s not necessarily bad to dress up your dog, make sure you know they’re enjoying the entertainment. Some animals love a spot of dressing up, but others will resist in no uncertain terms!
If you think your pet will be in on the joke, then choose a costume that won’t restrict their movement in any way. Check they can see, hear and breathe easily too! Try it on them before the big night so they have a chance to get used to it.
If they prove resistant, then it’s best to limit your fancy dress to human family members, with perhaps a festive collar for your pet.
And of course, black cats don't even need costumes to look the part.
Getting in chocolates or sweets to hand out to trick-or-treaters? If you leave them in reach of your pet, you could be spending Halloween making an emergency visit to an out-of-hours vet.
Chocolate is poisonous to both dogs and cats – it contains a substance called theobromine, which has a toxic effect on their livers and can even prove fatal.
Dogs, unfortunately, love the stuff. If you leave a bowl full of choccy treats unattended, you’re likely to return to an empty bowl and a very sick pooch.
Clever cats are likely to turn their noses up at chocolate. But if it smells particularly creamy, they might take a bite – and that can be enough to cause severe illness.
The amount that’s poisonous depends on the type of chocolate and the size of your pet. If you have pet insurance from Purely Pets, you'll be able to access a 24-hour vet helpline to find out more.
Other types of sweets are also not recommended for dogs and cats simply due to their high sugar content, which will rot their teeth. If you don’t want them to feel left out of festivities, then buy special sweets for dogs and cats.
Finally, if your pooch or puss is a bit of a scavenger, look out for your pumpkins – otherwise you could find they’re soon decorated with tooth marks that you didn’t carve yourself!
Remember to dispose of your jack-o’-lanterns quickly once the fun and games of Halloween are over. A mouthful of mouldy pumpkin could give your animal an upset stomach.
It’s easy to think that if you’ve shut your pet safely in your bedroom, you can get on with your Halloween fun. But in amongst all the excitement, don’t forget your miserable moggy cowering under your bed.
Make sure you pop in regularly to check on your pet and soothe away their stress, particularly if they’re just a pup or a kitten.
There are lots of ways you can calm down your pet, and you will know what works best. Perhaps they have a special blanket? Or a particular toy? Is there a dark corner where they like to curl up and hide?
Of course, nothing is better than a good stroke or hug from you, their trusted owner. Take time out from your spooky fun to reassure your pet with lots of love, and perhaps a lap to curl up on. That way, you can both enjoy your Halloween in peace.
Whether you own a pedigree pooch or a mischievous moggy, make sure it's covered with good pet insurance.
Purely Pets offer a range of cover levels for dogs and cats, helping you pay for vet fees to keep them safe and well.
Whatever your pet's needs, our specialist team can help you find the right insurance.