Trick or treating, fireworks, dressing up and sweets – it’s a very exciting time of year for humans, but loud noises, constant knocks on the door and unfamiliar faces can be particularly distressing for our pets.
Around 80% of pets will suffer from anxiety at these times of year. Pet Corner’s Head of Training Lucy Ross offers her top tips to keep your pet safe and happy during the festivities:
1. Plan ahead – take your dog for a long walk before it gets dark and the evening activities start. Keeping his routine as normal as possible will help to keep him calm as the festivities kick off.
2. Create a safe environment – if it is likely you are going to have ‘trick or treaters’ knocking on your door make sure your pet is kept in a quiet space out of the way. Make sure cats are safe inside well in advance of any activities and can access their favourite hiding spot. Give your pet their favourite toy, bed, food and water bowl, and, to comfort them, something with your smell on it. Close curtains, windows and doors to minimise external noises coming into the room.
3. Be cautious with costumes – even though it may be fun to dress up pets, never force your pet to wear anything. If your pet is happy to dress up make sure garments are appropriate to the animal, their movements aren’t restricted and that materials are flame resistant.
4. Act normally – during the festivities animals may become anxious and irate. To ensure your pet’s anxiety levels are kept to a minimum stick to your usual routines and speak at your normal voice level.
5. No glow sticks – keep glow sticks and glow accessories away from pets. Even though they aren’t necessarily toxic, if chewed on they can cause your pet to salivate excessively and act abnormally.
You can find further tips, advice and information on all things animal related on the Pets Corner website www.petscorner.co.uk