Pets can enjoy Halloween just as much as their two-legged hairless hominid owners. Keeping Fluffy and Rex safe while enjoying the holiday is a key factor to a stress-free night of trick-or-treating. In addition to the ASPCA’s safety tips for pets, try these relevant tricks to keep animals safe during fright night.
Disable the Doorbell
Dogs love to bark at noise, and nothing makes more noise in a house than the doorbell. Disable the doorbell and remain near the front door to receive trick-or-treaters. If the weather is warm enough, sit on the front porch to prevent any four-legged creatures from getting in or out of your house. Dogs and cats should be secured in a back room for a few hours so there is no chance for escape and so your pet doesn’t hear extraneous noises. Give your dog plenty of comforts in the back room on the holiday.
Make Treats for Your Pets
Every safety tip includes not feeding animals human food. Instead, make treats for your pets out of the food they already enjoy. Discovery Channel has some fun homemade dog treats that kids can make. Pets Adviser has four cat treats to make in your own kitchen. Create these treats the day before Halloween to free up the big day for human fun.
Part of the Display
Instead of making your actual pet part of the display, hint at the effect of having your pet involved with trick or treaters. Change your doorbell noise to that of the sound of your dog’s bark or cat’s meow. If you have a snake, save one of your reptile’s molted skin to add to spider webs on your porch. Cedar chips for a hamster or guinea pig cage can be colored black and orange for Halloween decorations.
Outdoor pets can be part of the fun. Chickens, dogs and horses can all make noise throughout the night that can be heard on your property. Make them part of the narrative–you could say children who came here earlier were turned into chickens as a trick. If children ask for a trick, get your dog to bark on command if he or she can hear you from the backyard. Just ensure your outdoor pets are locked up behind a fence or in a cage so strange hands don’t scare them through the night.
If your pet snake can handle a lot of people and is docile enough, make it a part of your costume. Some snakes love to be draped around arms and necks. If your reptile can be safely handled in the dark throughout the night, a live snake can be an impressive addition to a Halloween display. Be careful about genuinely scaring smaller kids, so have an extra hand nearby to dole out treats. A tame snake is a perfect pet for Halloween–it offers possible frights while not barking at everyone who rings the doorbell.
William Browning’s family owns a dog, a cat, two birds, two hamsters and several fish.