By Marguerite Richmond, Development Director, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
Halloween may be a treat for kids, but if you have pets, try to look at it from their point of view. The same activities that make it exciting for us can be threatening and terrifying for them. The constant stream of strangers at the door, bizarre costumes, unpredictable activity, loud noises, and strange smells can make even the calmest pet terrified and confused. Take these simple steps to keep your pet happy and the holiday will be enjoyable for the whole family.
Starting early in the evening, put your pets in a quiet, safe room indoors. A chew toy, stuffed KONG, or other interactive toy will help distract your dog. A radio playing soft music can help mask strange noises and calm your pet.
Make sure your pets are wearing current ID, and that their microchip information is up-to-date.
Resist the urge to let your kids take the dog trick-or-treating with them. Even the calmest dogs can panic, bolt, or becoming protective.
Remember to keep candy out of the reach of your pets. Candy is harmful, and chocolate is especially toxic to animals.
Finally, pet costumes are fun, and many dogs enjoy the attention — but respect their comfort and patience. Remove the costume after taking a photo, and you’ll both be happy.