The Halloween spirit brings along more than just candy and carving jack o’ lanterns. The ringing of the doorbell and constant knocking from inevitable trick or treating children (or opportunistic adults with extra time on their hands…) can cause stress for more anxious pets. The swarm of people wearing grotesque and disturbing costumes and the heightened noise levels can likely be alarming for your fuzzy children. Don’t fret. It’s not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of fantastic pet costumes for your dogs and cats these days that make the holiday madness worth it. The National Retail Federation estimates that over 22 million Americans will be dressing up their animals for Halloween this year. They will be spending upwards of $330 million dollars on costumes for their fuzzy children. The most popular costume? A pumpkin.
The primary choice among dachshund lovers appears to be a hot-dog costume.
One suggestion I can give is make sure whatever costume you decide to put your pet into is comfortable for them. Something extravagant might look really amazing but your biggest concern should be that your pet isn’t miserable for the evening. It is also worth considering the overwhelming nature of the holiday and the effect this could have on your pet. The festivities might be a little too much for your fuzzy child given how many people will undoubtedly be dressed up as extras from “The Walking Dead” or “Donald Trump.”
Personally, I feel this would be insulting to your pet despite how hilarious it might look. There are far better costumes you can dress them as. Bill Murray? Dorothy? Freddy Kruger? School-Girl? A shark?
The costumes available for pets has completely overshadowed what was available for human children was I was young enough to trick or treat. In 2015 there are some truly clever options for your pet to be a part of the holiday.
For pets that get a little anxious in large crowds or with too much noise consider a few options to increase their comfort level. For example, if nonstop doorbells and constant knocking might result in excess barking consider giving your dog a closed off area with puzzle toys or chewing treats to keep him or her occupied. Close the shades and turn on some calming music. Many pets are also lost on Halloween due to the constant opening and closing of front doors.
If your pet is not currently micro-chipped perhaps that is something you should consider. It can be done easily by making an appointment to see one of our amazing staff veterinarians.
Many pets rely on our facial expressions to know how we are feeling and having masks on can make it scary for a lot of them. When addressing your fuzzy children let them see your face without a mask, if possible.
Take steps to ensure your pets do not have access to any candy or treats that might be left around the house. Even on the upper east side you’re likely to get some foot traffic outside your apartment from child-sized ghosts and ghouls demanding sugary treats and these can be easily dropped on the floor or left at the edge of a table within reach of your pet’s awaiting mouth. When food is involved fuzzy children can get very resourceful.
Above everything else just remember that Halloween in New York City is a fun and festive time and even your dog and cat deserve to share in the celebration. There are plenty of ways to get them to join in the fun.