Furry Friends Fear-Free Halloween!
It’s Halloween Season!! Time to gather all your friends and go to your local strip mall to get your scream on! The fun may start at the abandoned K-Mart that now doubles as “The Gates of Heck!!”
While you may love to get your spook on with your fellow human impersonators, your pets may not be as excited about the unrelenting sense of doom. To help your pets be their least-spooky selves (which we highly recommend), follow this guide to the Queenie’s Pets® Halloween best practices.
Queenie’s Pets® promotes fear-free living for pets, which should extend through Halloween. The holiday, meant to instill fear in humans, can still be as scary as you anticipate - we promise. But don’t plan to take your pup on a stroll through a haunted forest! People dress in strange garments; humans and objects make disturbing sounds. Their homes are suddenly inundated with blow-up ghosts and fake cobwebs. There are sudden noises. Strange characters pop up from the ground and flash unexpected lights.
After weeks of build-up, Halloween night arrives, and suddenly, movie characters and supervillains crawl through the neighborhood, up the front steps of your pets’ home until - DING DONG! - the monsters are here, and they want things from your house. That’s frightening! Help calm your pets by adapting Halloween to better suit their needs.
Put that pet costume back on the shelf!
To be clear, you can dress up like a cat, but please, don’t force your cats and dogs into costumes. They can’t appreciate the irony of being dressed up as a Minion or “Fidel Cattro”. So, to them, costumes are just itchy, constricting, and, frankly, often a punishment. You’ll never find pet costumes on the racks at Queenie’s Pets® retail store - a guaranteed Force-Free shop! Here are costume-free ways you can delight your pet:
Buy a sweater!
Pets get cold in the cooler temps! Instead of spending money on a costume they’ll hate, purchase a sweater or coat they’ll love. Sweaters promote warmth and a sense of security in a frightening environment. And, yes, they look cute, but that’s beside the point. If you feel you must make it themed, you could pick out an orange sweater, like this one from Kurgo.
Give them a treat!
Cats, dogs, and small mammals love a good treat. Take the time to stock up on some household favorites, paying particular attention to soothing toys. For dogs, a Hyper Pet Boredom Busters Bowl can be the perfect distraction to get through the hours of doorbell ringing. Cats may do best with a calming CBD balm massaged into their skin, such as KK Calm Balm.
Stock up on some favorite low-calorie treats so you can provide ample positive reinforcement throughout the night. Try out these tasty snacks to help distract them in a fun and oh-so-Autumnal way:
Fruitables by Skinny-mini: Soft, low-calorie training treat (or any time)!
Tiki Cat Crunchers: Tiki Cat® Crunchers cat treats are grain-free, perfectly-sized, meaty treats for your carnivorous cat.
Put down the leash!
This is one of the few times (besides early puppyhood) when we will urge you to please not walk your dog! Your dog will feel nervous with all of the commotion and strange behavior throughout your neighborhood. And, as we mentioned earlier, there are far too many scary things about - not just the ghosts and goblins, but everything in peoples’ yards and the masks that make humans look, well, not like humans. They will not be upset if they miss out on the family Halloween picture nor one extra walk. If you’re going Trick-or-Treating, keep them home in their favorite room, perhaps with a calming bed and - yep, you already guessed it - something safe, delicious and distracting! You can use some white noise to help drown out the commotion outside and that ringing doorbell.
Here are some great options:
Create a controlled context.
Dogs learn in context. In addition to scaring dogs, Halloween genuinely confuses them! Give them a more predictable environment to figure out. Puzzles activate your dogs’ reward center and can keep them engaged for an extended time.
Cat TipsWhile your dog may express her displeasure through barking, cat anxiety can be more subtle, challenging to identify, and could involve hiding and other unusual behaviors. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can calm your cat! Here are some of our favorites:
- Sentry Calming Collar for Cats- This collar is scientifically proven to reduce stress of noises and scents that cause distress in cats of all ages and breeds by releasing phermones for up to 30 days. It naturally relaxes your cat, helping them to stay calm even when presented with a stressor.
- MedTerra - Cat & Dog CBD Chews- CBD chews promote quality sleep and anxiety relief in dogs and cats. They come in three flavors, but we recommend the salmon to truly entice your more-than-likely-fishy-loving-feline!
- Petlinks Catnip Cavern, A little catnip never hurt! Let your cat experience the excitement of catnip, followed by a period of intense relaxation, all whilst having the option to also hide in/play inside a paper bag! This ingenious invention brings together two things cats love (why they all love paper bags, we’ll never know!)...and what a great time to bust these jawns out….and they come 3 to a pack, so it’s even more perfect for that multi-cat household!