Keeping pets safe at Halloween

CC image courtesy of Crystal Agozzino on Flickr.
CC image courtesy of Crystal Agozzino on Flickr.

Halloween season is exciting for us humans but for pets, it can be a very distressing time of year.

Household pets, mainly dogs, can get very agitated around Halloween time, due to the noise of fireworks and also by the flashes at night time.

According to vet Peter Wedderburn, who is better known as ‘Pete the Vet’, the best thing for dogs at this time of year is to make sure that they have somewhere that they can go that is cosy and reasonably well protected by noise.

“Basically you want somewhere where they can go and feel comfortable and chilled out, and if there is background noise and fireworks, they’re not bothered about them”, he says.

Pete suggests that a typical ‘safe’ place for dogs would be a cupboard under the stairs, or a boiler room, where you can put plenty of bedding, a hot water bottle and some of their favourite toys.

He also stresses the importance of dog pheromone, which can be bought in plug form.

“When a bitch produces milk, she produces a scent that puppies find reassuring”, says Pete, “scientists have extracted that scent and have made an artificial form of it and put it into a vaporizer”.

Pete, who is also Ireland AM’s resident vet, says that if dogs have this pheromone in the air around them, then they feel more comfortable and reassured.

There is also an increased issue of cruelty towards animals around the Halloween period.

“When there are young people out and messing around, where there is fire and fireworks then animals are vulnerable, so people should be aware of that”, says Pete.

Even cats, who usually roam around, are at risk at this time of year. Like dogs, they can be also frightened by fireworks, but a more serious matter is reports of them being thrown into bonfires.

Both cats and dogs are also at risk of blackcat fireworks been thrown at them by youths.

“Keep cats in around Halloween because they can get into trouble, and make sure that your dog has an ID tag on it because it can get out and run away”, says Pete.

Every year there are reports of people deliberately harming animals during the Halloween season

Pete advises people that if they hear of, or see any cruelty to animals going on, to get some evidence and  report it.

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