Remember the fear you felt the first time you watched a scary movie as a child? Now imagine how your pet may feel about the masked trick-or-treaters that appear at your home each year. Or think about how they potentially feel about the consistent ringing of the doorbell and knocking that result in hoards of complete strangers. Halloween can be a terrifying experience for our four-legged friends. Even pets with the most well balanced temperament may be pushed beyond their limit during this holiday.
Halloween night also lends to the increased potential for a pet to escape, as doors are repeatedly opened and closed throughout the evening. Pets that escape or routinely roam (such as indoor/outdoor cats) face an increased risk of being injured or killed by a car or tortured and/or tormented by a cruel passerby. Black cats are a frequent target of animal cruelty during the Halloween season and many animal shelters refuse to adopt them out to new homes during this time. There is a belief that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck; however, it seems that the opposite tends to be true and the misfortune falls on the cat itself.
Do your pets a favor and provide them an area where they are safely kept away from the events of the evening. For pets that have high anxiety regarding visitors, doorbells, or any other holiday action, consider using a TV or radio to create sounds that are more calming to them. If possible plan ahead for your pets; keep roaming cats indoors for a few days leading up to Halloween in order to ensure that they will be home during the rush of children in your neighborhood. In the event that you witness or hear of animal cruelty notify your local police or animal control departments for assistance.
Ask us at Animal Central for additional ways to help your pet though traumatic events or visit: http://news.yahoo.com/petplan-pet-insurance-says-halloween-howlingly-scary-pets-142608747.html
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff