Halloween means spooky decorations and creative costumes galore. Answering the doorbell and hearing kids shout, “Trick Or Treat!” to get candy is a good time. Unfortunately, for your pets, this night can be an upsetting time. There are things you can do to prepare for the night and start the fun. Here are a few tips to have a stress-free Halloween with pets.
Deal With The Doorbell
For many pets, as soon as someone rings the doorbell, it’s on. The cat runs and hides, and the dog starts barking like crazy and gets wound up. Imagine that scenario happening repeatedly on Halloween night, and maybe the best idea is to deal with the doorbell. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Disable The Doorbell – Research your doorbell and get instructions on how to turn it off. This may be as simple as flipping a circuit breaker on the panel (typically in the garage) or unscrewing a wire to disconnect the bell from power.
- Monitor The Live Stream – If you have a doorbell camera or security camera on the porch, set up a live stream to intercept trick-or-treaters before they can ring the bell.
- Hang out on the porch – This idea is amusing because you can throw on a costume and join the fun. Here’s how it works. Grab a chair, sit on the porch, be very still, and come alive when approached. You’ll likely get a jump-scare in before offering candy to the kids. And no one rang the doorbell.
Pets may try to slip out the front door while you’re chatting with costumed kids, so block breakouts with pet or baby gates. They do a great job of preventing pets from entering areas where pets (and babies 😊) aren’t allowed. A jumping cat may be the exception here, or especially crafty dogs that find climbing gates a good time. A gate can keep the peace even if your pet is typically calm around strangers.
Prepare for Escapes
If you know your door will be open often, be ready if your pet bolts out of the house on Halloween. Dress pets in a reflective collar or vest for the night so distracted parents can see them if they end up in the street. Also, check your pet’s microchip information to ensure it includes your current contact information.
Candles and Jack-O-Lanterns are festive decorations for Halloween, but to prevent fires and burns, use flameless candle options instead. There are some pretty bright ones available online and in stores.
Keep Up With The Candy
Kids love to dump out their bags of hard-earned candy to sort, trade, and eat after they’ve finished trick-or-treating. Make sure that your pets stay out of the sweets, and kids keep their stash in the kitchen, out of reach. Chocolate is commonly handed out and can make dogs sick, and the ingredient xylitol is toxic to dogs and can be found in some candies and gum.
Pet Costume Safety
The best costume for your pet is one that they are comfortable in and fits appropriately. It may be a tall ask to assume that they are comfortable so snap some great Instagrammable pics, keep it short, and don’t leave pets unattended in a costume.
Give Pets a Safe Place To Just Chill
While involving a pet in Halloween activities is fun, your pet might have the best time in a back room away from the action. Turn on the radio or TV to add a white noise effect buffer to what is happening by the front door.
Turn Off The Porch Light
Depending on how your pets handle the excitement of the evening, you may need to go ahead and end the fun early. Put the candy bowl on the porch and flip off the light when it’s empty. It’ll keep the fun going for the kiddos, but end any doorbell barking and help pets settle down for the night.
Many families board their pets on Halloween night so that the evening is stress-free for both pets and people. Call us at 425-483-9333 to see if we have any openings or book early for 2024.