My dog has been dressed up every year for Halloween since he was 6 months old. One year, he was a banana (to my human son’s monkey). Another year, he was a dinosaur. Last year, he was Waldo from “Where’s Waldo.” He never wears the costume for long—just long enough for us to snap a few photos—but he hates every moment of it.
(Left Image)Henry, who belongs to Dr. Hamryka of Sugar Hill Animal Hospital in Sugar Hill, Georgia.(Right Image)Jack, who belongs to Sarah Rumple, the writer of this article. My dog isn’t the only pet that hates Halloween, and for good reason. Actually, for three good reasons:
- Costumes—Of course costumes are No. 1 on this list, and there are countless websites and articles out there with evidence as to why. Some pets don’t mind being dressed up; they may even like it. Others, like my pup, are comfortable enough in their own skin, er, fur, and would rather be left alone. On a serious note, however, tight costumes that affect movement or breathing can be health hazards. And, always avoid costumes that impede vision or hearing—if your pet can’t see or hear well, his behavior could be impacted.
- Candy—Who decided that candy was going to be hazardous for pets? Unfortunately, candy—and especially chocolate—can be toxic to animals. It can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances and even death. Candy wrappers can also be problematic, causing possible blockages and irritation in the digestive system. Don’t tempt your pets—keep these things out of reach (and preferably out of sight). Instead, indulge your pet with a special, pet-friendly Halloween treat.
- Changes in environment—Unless your pet is accustomed to constant knocking on your door; scary ghosts and goblins yelling loudly with excitement; and the other sights, sounds and smells associated with Halloween, he is likely to become overwhelmed or frightened. Make sure your pet is placed in a secure location during trick-or-treat time—scared pets may run off and become missing pets, which isn’t good for anyone.
Get out there and enjoy Halloween, but keep in mind that your pet may not find it quite as enjoyable as you do. Dress him up, if you must, but be sure to show him some extra love after the festivities are over.
Photo Credits: ©Sugar Hill Animal Hospital(left image)/©Sarah Rumple(right image)