by Miriam Kerins


Please Note:

The below article is written as a guideline and as an education/information source only.  It is in no way intended to be used, nor should it ever be used, as a substitute for professional veterinary advice.  If you have any concerns regarding your animal's health or behaviour, please contact your local veterinarian, who is a professional; without delay.


Halloween, although a joyous occasion for families, can be a very stressful time for your pets and for farm animals.   Yes, it’s often hard to understand how the season of trick or treating can often serve to bring out the worst in some people, so much so, that in my opinion, the silliness and the thoughtlessness of many pet parents can quite literally transcend human understanding. 

With that in mind, we’re going to show you how,  with just a little bit of thought and forward planning, you can keep your beloved fur babies safe, sound and stress free during next month’s  scary spook-fest.


Here’s what we recommend:


In the run up to Halloween and on the night itself, keep your fur babies indoors, only allowing them out to pee/poo in a secure area while being supervised either by you or a responsible adult.  If walking your pets, keep them on a lead and keep them away from bonfires!   You see, loud noises from bangers and fireworks, scary masks and unusual costumes worn by little trick or treaters knocking on the door, and running through the streets will only serve to cause  your pet anxiety leading them to bolt out onto the road in front of traffic etc.

●  If you’ve got a pet rabbit, move their hutch indoors into your garage, or better still, into a downstairs loo or utility room.  If you’ve got horses, stable them securely and never, ever set off fireworks, bangers or light a bonfire in a field containing, or next to an area where horses, cattle, sheep or other animals are being  kept.

●  If/when you open the front door to callers, in order to avoid your pet running outside, make sure he/she is secured in another room.  If your pet isn’t microchipped, visit your vet and have it done now, (it’s the law); and, if possible make sure they’re wearing a collar with your contact details on it.

●  Speaking of dressing up…don’t put a costume on your pets!  Ok, some may love being dressed up, but others will find it stressful.  Besides, a costume will restrict your pet’s movements, tight collars and elastic may make it difficult for them to breathe properly, and any dangly bits, baubles, bells or buttons can become a serious choking hazard for your pet.

Tell your children, and anyone else in your home that they must NOT offer chocolate, nuts or other treats to your pets…chocolate, in all forms is toxic, especially dark or baking chocolate which people often use when making Halloween goodies.  In addition, bear in mind that sugar free sweets and treats that contain the substitute known as xylitol will cause serious health issues for your pet.

If you’ve decided to carve a pumpkin and place lighted candles inside, or indeed, place candles around the house, do keep them away from curious pets due to them being both a burning and a fire hazard.  In addition, if you decide to place candles on a high shelf and you have cats/kittens, bear in mind they can climb, so it’s possibly best to avoid any candles altogether. Secure all loose wires!

Finally…never, ever ignore an animal in danger. Please report any abusive/cruel behaviour to your local Garda station, and, if safe for you to do so, remain with the distressed animal until help arrives.


©  Miriam Kerins



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