Confession? I’m not a big “pets in costume” person. Oh, I’m a giant pet person but I’ve never been one to doll my animals up for the season. The closest I get is switching out my dogs’ collars at Thanksgiving for winter holiday themed neckwear — which they actually look forward to — and I put my bunnies in baskets and take them to the park to delight kids at Easter. But I know a lot of people dress their furry bffs up and I say, “Good for them.”
As we approach Halloween, however, I was curious how to actually deal with animals during that holiday. There’s a lot of activity going on and with all of the kids running around, spooky decor, candy and candy wrappers flying around, and general wildness of the night, it occurred to me that our pets may need a little special TLC or something to keep them feeling at ease, included, and protected.
Thanks to the marvel of research, here are just a few ways to support your animal pals on All Hallow’s Eve, aka Halloween.
Dress up isn’t for every pet
You may love that kitty cat spider costume, they may not.
Pet dress-up is personality and temperament based, like our own, and if you notice that they are not comfortable being put into whatever costume you have for them, perhaps try a different style or lose the idea altogether. Various designs work better for one animal over another. If it is too restricting, includes something that goes over their head, or doesn’t fit well, they may let you put it on them but they may not keep it on or even feel uncomfortable.
If you can, buy a few different kinds and try them on your furry friend. Once you find that perfect one, remember that you may not be able to keep them in it for very long. Grab your photo, tell them you love them, then set them free.
They will thank you with licks, wags, and purrs.
Pet friendly treats are a DIY away
It probably goes without saying that the treats at Halloween are not necessarily pet friendly. Chocolate isn’t good, candy corn has too much sugar and can get stuck in their throats, caramel is bad for their teeth, and on and on and on.
If you want to include pets in your Halloween, create treat bags that work for them. Homemade dog yummies are super easy to make, cat munchies made at home are filled with love, and the list goes on and on. Bunnies? Have some leafy carrot tops and organic mixed greens. Having a bit of a pet box will endear you to your Trick or Treaters and will make your own pets feel included.
Protect and cuddle when shaky
The spooky, creepy delight of Halloween tickles the senses for us mere humans. For your furry and feathered buddies, not so much. Keep aware of how your animal is feeling about the unique visuals and macabre decorations around them. This includes the trick or treaters traipsing through your neighborhood and coming to your door. Masks and elaborate makeup can be rather jarring to pets. Create a safe space for your pets on Halloween night so they feel protected and well-supported when faced with these unexpected visions.
More treats than tricks
At the end of the day, it’s pretty simple when it comes to dealing with your pets during Halloween. Love them, cuddle them, follow their lead when dressing them up, and keep them away from the chocolate, candy corn, and marshmallow peanuts. With the right gentle encouragement and support, your furry and feathered bff will become the perfect Halloween companion. All it will take is a bit of loving care and a watchful eye for what thrills them and what chills them.