A fun and exciting holiday for children and adults alike, Hallowe’en can often be a dangerous and frightening experience for our furry friends.
The noises and commotion of the weeks leading up to Hallowe’en can cause great upset, and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) have offered some tips in order to decrease the stress for pets.
Ensuring that candles, decorations and sweets are well out of reach of pets is key, and so is micro-chipping, according to a spokesperson for the ISPCA, who also added advice on preventing dogs and cats from escaping.
“Ensure that your dog or cat is kept in a secure place in the house where they will not be able to slip out if the door is open. You can leave a TV or radio on to drown out some of the noise of fireworks and children calling to the door.
“If your pet is truly terrified of fireworks and you are concerned about them, you may want to consult with your vet in advance, and ask them about training or medication to help with your pets’ stress,” they continued.
The spokesperson pointed out that pets should have a safe place to hide if they feel frightened, and recommended that owners avoid any fuss if their pet is showing signs of stress. Instead, try to ignore the behaviour.
When it comes to small animals, such as birds, the ISPCA said that animals normally housed outside should be moved to a garage or shed, where possible. Alternatively, cages or hutches can be covered with blankets or carpets to act as sound-proofing, and extra bedding should be provided.
Horses, ponies and donkeys that live in areas where there is a considerable amount of Hallowe’en noise and events should be securely stabled.
Revealing that Hallowe’en can be dangerous for wildlife and encouraging those lighting bonfires to check all wood, scrub and leaves for hibernating hedgehogs, the spokesperson concluded by conceding that “stray animals somtimes bear the brunt of Hallowe’en pranks.
“If you witness an animal being subjected to cruel treatment, please notify your local Gardaí immediately and contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515.
“Please take precautions this year to ensure your pets stay safe, calm and remain indoors this Hallowe’en so the festivities can be a safe and enjoyable time for everyone.”