Today is Halloween. They’re coming. As the sun goes down, hordes of princesses, aliens, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts will be ringing your doorbell in search of bags of candy.
It’s like the perfect storm of factors to drive a pet insane. Think about – ringing doorbells, little fists pounding on doors, dozens of oddly dressed strangers traipsing across your property, lots of shouting and giggling, flashlight beams, cars pulling in and out of the driveway, you hopping up to open the door every few minutes. And that’s in addition to the decorations, bowls of candy, and other assorted hazards.
Even the friendliest pets can get overwrought in these circumstances. And overwrought pets don’t behave like they usually do. A normally calm and obedient pet may growl, lunge, or bite, or even slip past you and dash off into the darkness.
Your best bet is to confine pets away from the front door. Lock them in the bedroom for the evening for their own safety. I don’t recommend putting them out in the back yard, because they’ll still hear all the extra people roaming the neighborhood, and still see all the waving flashlights. Shelters will tell you that the morning after any major holiday finds extra animals coming in, and lots of distraught owners searching for escaped pets that got out of “safe” back yards.
If you have an “unconfinable” pet who gets distraught when locked up, then keep the pet with you – on a leash. If there are two people in the house, have one hold the pet and one answer the door. Remember that dogs are naturally inclined to defend their homes from invaders, and shrieking, giggling, masked people waving bags of candy and shouting “Trick or Treat!” would certainly strike any self-respecting dog as exceptionally weird intruders to be dealt with.
Make it a Happy Halloween…protect your pets. Don’t expose them to all the excessive stimuli of Halloween, both for the safety of the kids and the safety of your pet.