Halloween is a day of fun, sweets and scary tales but, unfortunately, for pets it can be a dangerous time. Bonfires, bangers, fireworks and loud noises often leave them shivering with fear. But that's not all, shockingly animals are often the victims of horrific pranks and every year, there are stories of cats and dogs being hit with pellet guns, tied to fireworks and general cruelty.
This year, make sure your pet is safe by following these six rules:
1. Keep your furry friend in the house
Make sure you keep your animals in at night, especially cats which are prone to nocturnal wanderings. Secure them in a room where they feel safe and check on them regularly to ensure they are ok. Don't forget about your rabbit, especially if they live outside in a hutch. If you can, try to bring them inside for the night – the loud bangs can frighten them as well.
2. Don’t bring them to the front door
When the bell rings, try to avoid bringing your pet to the front door. While they may be sweet and gentle at the best of times, they might become frightened when they see kids dressed up and bolt for the door. The last thing you want is to have your dog wandering around on their own at Halloween.
3. Keep food out of reach
Pets love nothing more than sneaking a few treats off the table, without realising the danger. Chocolate is poisonous to cats and dogs and they can choke on hard boiled sweets. Grapes, while they may appear harmless, can cause renal failure. Put them up high or in an separate room.
4. Tag them
Even if you plan on keeping your pet in a secure room, accidents can happen. As an extra precaution, make sure you have tagged them with their name and your number so that they can be found easily.
5. Don’t bring them trick-or-treating
While they might be the most placid animal during the rest of the year, they can become frightened by the costumes and noises and may react badly, causing themselves or others harm.
6. Keep a close eye on black cats
Black cats are unfortunately associated with the evil and scariness of Halloween, and are often targeted by pranksters and people up to no good. With this in mind, it is vitally important that you keep an extra special eye on them.