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Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 09 October 2021 23:00

Please remember: Strange and/or loud noises, as well as little people ones going in-&-out of your home can be upsetting to your pet(s) and can even lead to harm.  A constantly ringing doorbell and the presence of costumed strangers can cause animals to panic, putting both pets & people in danger. When dogs and cats are frightened, they're more likely to run away, jump out of open windows or dart into traffic. Stressed pets can also behave out of character, even scratching or biting people. 

Companion animals aren't the only ones at risk. Frightened farm animals have even been known to run into barbed-wire fences or other obstructions.  Here are a few OSPCA-approved tips:

Keep pets inside
Pets who are inside have fewer opportunities to confront trick-or-treaters. Some do well left in a separate room with the radio or television on to mask outside noises. Be sure to leave plenty of toys in the room for them, so they don't think he’s being isolated as a punishment.

If your pet finds the doorbell disturbing, consider disconnecting the doorbell for the night. Alternatively, you can leave a bowl of treats near the door outside where trick-or-treaters can help themselves. That way, they won’t knock or ring the doorbell – at least not until the bowl is emptied.

Make sure your pet is wearing I.D.  Clear, current identification is your best chance to have them returned to you.

Don’t console your anxious pet
While it is natural to want to comfort your pet, it is better to use a bright, cheerful voice to send a message that things are fine. Avoid saying things like, “it’s OK” or “don’t be scared” in a soft or sympathetic voice. This only reinforces fear.

Candy is for people
Candy can lead to health problems such as diabetes or obesity, and chocolate is especially dangerous because it contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Keep candy well away from your pets.

Leave home without them
If you think it would be fun to bring your pet trick-or-treating, your pet may not share your view. The strange sights and sounds of Halloween can cause a normally friendly dog to bite if it feels scared or threatened.

Think twice before costuming your pet
Dressing dogs in a costume inhibits their ability to communicate.  If prone to display aggression or aggressive behaviour, please put their needs above all others - and you'll have done your part to ensure HOWL'oween is all "TREATS" with and no unexpected "TRICKS" to ruin your family's Spooky Fun!  BOO!!


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