Pet safety tips for Halloween and Bonfire Night

cat black halloween

It may be the time of year when we humans enjoy all things spooky, but Halloween and Bonfire Night can be extremely stressful and scary for our pets. To help keep our furry friends safe, follow our tips.

Are autumn festivities a trick or treat for your pet?

We all love the change in seasons when the nights get longer and the leaves crunch underfoot.

However, with autumn in full swing, it's not long until Halloween or Bonfire Night – events which can put our pets in danger.

Follow our advice to help keep them safe:

  • Do not feed your cats & dogs chocolate and sweets, as what may seem like a harmless treat can be extremely toxic to them. Keep treats out of reach of your pets and dispose of any wrappers in the bin.
  • Many pets aren’t used to wearing clothes and can feel distressed when put into a costume. If you do dress your pet in a Halloween outfit, ensure that they are happy, comfortable, unrestricted, and that there are no loose parts. Although they may look cute, their safety is much more important.
  • Whilst pumpkin isn’t toxic to pets, it may cause tummy trouble if your pet eats too much. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep pumpkins away from cats & dogs.
  • Pets may not be used to so many people knocking on your door in one night, especially when those people are wearing such strange costumes. Try and keep pets in a calm environment, away from the door and windows, whilst trick-or-treaters visit. If they are frightened, pets may bolt out into the road - it's always best that pets have up-to-date identity tags/microchips in case this happens.
  • Look out for signs of stress or anxiety. If your dog is particularly nervous, you could put a sign on the door asking people not to knock and leave a bowl of sweets on the doorstep instead.
  • Try to avoid leaving your pet home alone. Make sure they have plenty of toys and treats to keep them distracted whilst you go to answer the door. Don’t be annoyed with your pet if they’ve been destructive in your absence.
  • Keep them indoors! Whilst most people are having fun on Halloween, there are also a lot of pranksters out there. Keep your pets indoors to prevent them being part of someone else's joke.
  • We love to decorate our homes at Halloween. Just make sure that candles and pumpkins are kept out of reach and that there are no small pieces of decoration which can be swallowed by your pets. To avoid burns or singed whiskers, consider using LED tealights instead.
  • Bonfire Night poses slightly different risks, but much in the same vein: dogs and cats rarely respond well to loud and unexpected noises, so keep them inside and away from any potential escape routes.
  • Make sure your dog is well exercised before darkness falls or keep them occupied at home with lots of games, enrichment activities, or training.
  • Do not take your dog to a firework display.
  • If your pet is particularly affected by the noise, leaving a radio or TV on at a low level should help mask the worst of it.
  • If your pet comes to you for comfort, it’s fine to give them a cuddle and help them to calm down.
  • Draw the curtains or blinds.
  • Make sure your pet has a cosy place to curl up in, whether this is under the bed, on your lap, or in a crate.
  • If your pet wants to pace around, whine, or hide – that’s ok. Don’t disturb them or try to encourage them out of their hiding place – they’ll come out when they’re ready.

By following these helpful tips, both you and your pets should be able to enjoy a spooktacular Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Peace of mind with pet insurance

Following these precautions should help to keep your beloved pets safe, but it is wise to be prepared. Our Pet Insurance can be offered for cats and dogs from five weeks old and covers vet fees for illness and injury up to £7,500, as well as ongoing cover for eligible new illnesses. Pets aged 5 - 8 weeks are restricted to Accident Only cover. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

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