Halloween can be a really enjoyable time of year but we all need to do our bit to ensure that everyone including our pets feel safe during this festive time of year. The ISPCA would like to remind the public to be aware of the dangers that Halloween poses to the well-being of all animals and to take extra measures to safeguard the safety of not only domestic pets, but farm animals and wildlife too.
Some pets can be terrified by the sound of fireworks, so ensure they are kept safe in a secure area where they cannot dart out an open door from the noise. Walking dogs during daylight can help avoid trick or treaters and avoids your pets having to go outside while fireworks are set off. Provide a den or a hiding place where your pet can feel safe, with a comfortable bed, lined with old sweatshirts and other clothing to give your pet a sense of your reassuring presence. Soundproof the room (any windows closed, blinds drawn), and leave a radio on, with music playing, to drown out fireworks noises.
We advise owners against dressing up their pets in outfits or costumes as this can cause them stress and restricts them in showing their natural behaviour and how they may be feeling. A new game or toy is a much better way to have fun together. A bandana or even a festive collar or harness is a safer option for your pets.
Sweets & Chocolates:
Please keep sweets and chocolate out of reach from your pets. Chocolate contains a toxic ingredient called Theobromine, and some sweets and candy contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol. These chemicals can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and seizures.
If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.
Ensure your pets are micro-chipped! Not only is it the law but if your pet becomes lost it is the first step any rescue or vet will take…. we will scan your pet for the chip which should then hold all of your contact information to ensure your pet is returned home safe! Check your microchip database has your correct contact details if you moved house or changed your phone number.
Have you an outdoor pet? Horses should be securely stabled or moved to a different location during fireworks displays or bonfires in the area so as to not get spooked. Birds and small mammals should be kept indoors with a blanket covering their cages or hutch to act as a sound barrier.
The ISPCA would like to highlight the distressing impact of illegal fireworks has on communities and both wild and domestic animals. Please keep your pet(s) securely indoors as much as possible during Halloween, walking dogs’ early morning and evening.
People need to be aware that serious penalties can be imposed for the misuse of illegal fireworks so anyone with information related to the illegal use or the sale of fireworks should contact their local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line of 1800 666 111.
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