cat wearing a Halloween bow tie

Safety Tips On How To Make This Halloween Pet-Friendly

Everyone knows that Halloween has the spookiest nights of the year. While homeowners all understand
the traditional, their pets may not always understand.
It is important that pet owners take these simple precautions to give their pets a safe and happy


Tips for owners:

Exercise during the day prior to firework displays: Fireworks are expected later in the day, plan a fun morning of activity. A pet that has had its physical and mental needs met is less likely to be reactive later.

Stay home to comfort and offer security

Soothing Sanctuary: Make a Soothing sanctuary 

Act normal: Don’t acknowledge the fireworks, your pet will sense your reaction 

Identity: Name tags and microchip 

Stay indoors: Ensure those pets with outdoor access remain solely indoors 

Do not attempt to pull your pet out from hiding: Gently encourage your pet to come out on their own with a high reward treat or toy, or simply let them hide in their getaway space if safe to do so 

Training and Treats: Turn a scary evening into an interactive training session to keep your pet too busy to worry while also supporting your bond. 

Counter-Conditioning: Give your pet a treat  just after the scary noise is heard. By associating the noise with a treat, you start to change the underlying feeling that the noise causes. Happily eating treats does not reinforce or increase fear.

Desensitization: On a normal day, play audio of thunder or fireworks at a low enough volume that your pet notices but does not react. Over multiple sessions, gradually increase the volume, being careful not to make it so high that your pet reacts. This is best combined with Counter-Conditioning.


Soothing acoustical sanctuary:

 With a little know-how you can drown out  extraneous noise, block flashing lights, and naturally calm your dog and cat

A safe area favoured by the animal where they will feel secure. For cats ensure high hideaways 

Play calming music, classical, reggae, and soft rock typically have the best results

Fill any gaps in the music with white noise

Use pheromone sprays (pet remedy, feliway) or plug-ins to bring a sense of calm to your home. Pet remedy/adaptil contains a synthetic form of dog appeasing pheromone, a chemical signal given by mother dogs to their nursing puppies. Feliway products contain synthetic forms of cat pheromone in two varieties, cheek pheromone (Classic) or cat appeasing pheromone (Multi-cat, available in diffuser only). The collar and diffuser last for 30 days. The spray must be reapplied every four to six hours.

For pets with severe noise anxiety , look for wearable noise-reduction products that work to muffle sounds or temporarily place cotton balls at the entrance to ear in noisy events 

Minimise flashes and flickering which can accelerate the anxiety: Block windows, turn on lights in the home to decrease the contrast of light changes 

Nutraceuticals such as Yucalm or Zyklene. Zylkene is a supplement containing hydrolyzed milk protein in capsule form. It is lactose free. This supplement is best administered beginning several days prior to any stressful events and may be given long term for ongoing support. 


A snug can help reduce anxiety: 

The gentle pressure hug of a compression garment induces feelings of wellbeing for some dogs (and on occasion, some cats) 

 These mimic the soothing effect of swaddling for an infant 

Some compression garments are available that produce gentle vibrations or soothing music

Pets that prefer to avoid physical contact when anxious may not respond as well.