Most of us are aware of the usual tricks to keep our pets safe during Halloween celebrations, such as keeping black cats inside and ensuring that the Fido doesn’t raid our child’s candy basket after they pass out from a sugar-high. It’s also expected that our pets can indeed get into all types of mischief when we aren’t looking. Holidays are a time for pet-owners everywhere to be extra cautious for our furry, feathered, and scaled friends.
Many people keep exotic pets in the city and with the hustle and bustle of Halloween activities, it can be easy to overlook the stress that some pets have to endure, not just for the cats and dogs in our lives. A few tips to help minimize that stress will make for happier and healthier lives for our pets.
Chickens: City-dwellers are increasingly adding these farm-feathered friends to their backyards. Chickens prove multiple purposes: they overturn soil, eat bugs, and lay eggs, not to mention make great pets, yet they are easily upset. I learned first-hand what chickens think of trick-or-treating; they don’t like it. If you have to bring your chickens inside during a cold snap on Halloween, keep them far away from ringing doorbells and laughing children. Forget the ghosts; their squawking will be the worst shrieks you will hear all night.
Reptiles: It’s important to remember that iguanas and snakes do not make good Halloween accessories to a costume. They can become overly stressed and bite…hard. Keep them in a dark room away from guests and nosy children. Iguanas, especially, are prone to environmental stress and will react quickly with no warning. How do I know this you ask? My daughter has a scar on her lip from an iguana bite. Believe me, your reptiles will thank you for it later by not biting your hand off each time you feed them.
Fish and other caged animals: A Halloween party for little ones and their parents is always a great way to celebrate this fall holiday. While attending to party guests, it is easy to lose track of little Jimmy or Susie. Children, especially very curious children, have no qualms about putting their tiny hands or other objects inside of fish tanks, rabbit cages, or reptile habitats. It’s important to keep these areas a “safety-zone” for your pets. No one wants to clean a fish tank after five tootsie rolls have been placed inside it, especially if your prized betta is floating upside down.
Our pets are important and they each suffer stress in different ways. Halloween is a time for treats, crisp fall air, and excitement for human beings; dogs, cats, and other pets are completely content to remain out of the lime-light. As Homer, my ginger cat, always says, “Put me in a closed room when you have visitors. Anxiety and people scare me.”