How to create a fear free, happy Halloween for your pets
by Ontario SPCA and Humane Society | General Pet Care | October 31, 2022
Halloween night is filled with many unfamiliar sights and sounds, which can be quite scary for your pet! Luckily, some small changes can make it enjoyable and fear free for you and your furry friends.
The overall health, behaviour, and wellness of the animals in our care is our top priority, and Fear Free® helps keep them happy, healthy and ready to find loving homes. By reducing fear, anxiety and stress, you and your furry friend will have a much more pleasant experience.
Prepare in advance
Give your pet a chance to experience these new sights and smells before Halloween night. Expose them to your costume and Halloween décor, especially ones that move and make noise. Remember to have treats handy to make the experience positive for your pet.
Use caution with costumes
Dressing up your pet in a costume can be fun, but it’s not for every animal. When having them try on costumes, be sure to watch for changes in your furry friend’s body language. Signs they are uncomfortable may include having their head and tail down or attempting to remove the costume by pawing at it.
Don’t try on their costume for the first time on Halloween night! You want to give yourself the time to see if your furry friend enjoys them. This gives them a chance to get used to the costume and you can ensure it fits correctly.
Read our blog for more Halloween costume tips for your furry friend.
Avoid the doorbell
Most animals are not used to hearing the doorbell frequently and it may make them uneasy or protective. If you’re choosing to give out candy, try a motion sensor decoration or sit outside instead of having trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell. If you are answering the door, it is a good idea to crate your dog – if they have been crate trained – or provide your furry family member with a comfortable space in another room.
Create a safe space
Creating a spot for your pet to go when they are stressed can be very helpful. Make sure they are comfortable in the space before Halloween night. Fill it with their favourite toys and treats, then send them to their safe space an hour or so before trick or treating starts. Most importantly, make sure all toys and treats are appropriate, especially if your dog is a heavy chewer.
Halloween should be fun for the whole family, including your pets. Just remember to keep your furry friends away from your candy! For more great tips like these, visit fearfreepets.com.
Content adapted from Fear Free Pets.
More Fear Free® tips for your companion animals!
What is the Fear Free® program all about?
Make visits to the veterinarian Fear Free®
Thank you so much for all you do
Thank you so much for all you do every day to rescue animals in need. I can’t imagine the terrible situations that you see every day. It is great that you have the heart to help. Keep up the good work.