Preparing your furry friend for the holidays can be both a mixture of excitement and nerves. While dressing them up in cute costumes and having family visit and play with them is super fun. It can also get a bit stressful and cause sensory overload for your furbabies. Halloween and Thanksgiving are quickly approaching, so let’s get prepared and make sure our furry friends have as great a time as we will.
Halloween With Our Pets
Halloween is a night full of excitement. Some dogs get the privilege of joining their little family members trick or treating, while some stay at home and hear “trick or treat” after “trick or treat”.
While both of these options could be exciting for the dogs, they can also be super stressful and cause cat and dog anxiety. This goes for cats as well! Halloween can be a spooky night for many reasons.
The doorbell ringing, knocks, yelling, costumes are all a lot for a dog to take in, especially if they have a very strict daily schedule. In order to get through the night without a stressed animal, we need to think about how best to get them through the night. Here are some top tips for pets on Halloween:
Tire Them Out With Exercise
One of the best ways for pet owners to keep anxious dogs relaxed on Halloween is to take preventive care and tire them out with a ton of exercise that day. Take them on a long walk, for a swim or a hike. Anything that based on your pet parenting experiences you know will make them tuckered out and want to sleep the rest of the night away. The more tired your dog is, the less attention they will pay to the constant flow of trick-or-treaters.
Halloween pet tip: keep your dog on a leash. This is just in case they run into someone in a costume on their morning walk that spooks them.
Get Prepared For A Ringing Doorbell
If your dog is not used to the doorbell ringing and they are already suspicious of delivery people and guests, then you know you are in for an interesting night. Your dogs can feel threatened with all of these people coming up to their home - let alone strangers in monster masks and superhero capes! Here are a few ways to try and ease their stress and avoid dog anxiety:
- Keep away from the door. Maybe put a movie on for them in the basement with another family member.
- Bring them to their quiet ‘safe place’ which might be the den or their crate.
- Keep them occupied! Play with them and distract them the best you can.
- If it’s warm, let them hang out in the backyard.
And above all, make sure the dog cannot bolt or escape in the case they do get spooked!
Halloween pet tip: Make sure they are wearing their ID tag and even a GPS tracker in case they get spooked.
Safety First When Walking Dog on Halloween
When you’re walking your dog on Halloween night keep an eye out for fallen candy or any candy wrappers they could pick up. This could be dangerous and even fatal due to poison and choking. Try and choose a route that is away from the hustle and bustle and let your dog enjoy nature. This is usually a great night to go to the dog park since most families are busy and won’t be there.
Halloween pet tip: You and your dog should wear reflective clothing! A reflective doggy vest or collar can help drivers notice you better in the dark.
Thanksgiving With Our Pets
Thanksgiving is a day all about friends, family, and food. And our animals are part of the family too! However, this doesn’t always mean they enjoy celebrating.
Our cats and dogs are creatures of habit and can get very stressed when their daily routine gets disrupted. This is why we have put together a couple of quick tips so Thanksgiving dinner goes off without a hitch.
Thanksgiving pet tip: With a dog wellness plan you can get your dog groomed and freshened up with fresh breath, ready for greeting guests and family members.
Pet Food Safety!
Not all people's food is okay to let our dogs and cats nibble at. If you are going to offer a piece of turkey to your pets make sure it is completely boneless and well-cooked. This is so a bone doesn’t disrupt their digestion and so they don’t contract Salmonella from undercooked meat (or raw eggs!).
Bread dough that is uncooked can also be dangerous for our pets. This is because the yeast will continue to convert the dough’s sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
This combination can be lethal to our pets. This is why pet health insurance is so important. It takes just one bite of Grandma’s dough to result in a trip to the emergency vet.
Thanksgiving pet tip: Don’t leave a box of chocolates open on a table! The minute you turn around your dog might have consumed the whole box - resulting in another emergency trip for veterinary care.
If you are one to put out a lot of decorative pumpkins, gourds, and corn, make sure your furry friends are not chewing and snacking on them behind your back. This can make their tummy upset as well as can be choking hazards, along with other small decorations and even candles. Candles that smell good can often intrigue a dog enough to take a bite. This could result in choking and injury.
If you have curious dogs, cats, or even children for that matter, it is important to edit the decor and not overuse it with potentially dangerous items. While pet health insurance is here for you in emergency situations, a choking animal is never something you want to risk.
Thanksgiving pet tip: Some autumnal flowers can be poisonous to our animals including autumn crocus, chrysanthemum, and acorns from oaks trees.
When Hosting Guests
Many dogs and cats can be shy when a bunch of people come over, even if they’re not all strangers. If your cat or dog seems a bit shy and a little overwhelmed, place them in a safe spot. This can be their favorite room or their crate. Offer your pet lots of treats and fresh water and make sure to keep an eye on them when the door is opening and closing.
At the beginning and end of the night when the door is basically flying off the hinges we always put our dogs to bed in our room where their crates and beds are. This way we know they will not make a run for it out the door and are safe with all their toys.
Thanksgiving pet tip: This might be a good time of year to make sure your animals all have microchips, ID tags, and collars in case of a door escape.
Halloween and Thanksgiving are some of our favorite holidays because we get together with friends and family. Try and make these holidays positive for your animals and not cause any unnecessary cat and dog anxiety. If it is your first Halloween or Thanksgiving with a fluffy family member then it is time to consider pet health insurance and cat and dog wellness plans.
Wagmo’s Pet Wellness Plans cover necessary vaccinations as well as can get your dog spruced up with a dental cleaning and grooming appointment. Wagmo Pet Health Insurance is what you need in case your animals eat something they should not or get injured. Sign up for some peace of mind and we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season!