While Halloween is all fun and games for the kids (fancy dress, trick or treating, what's not to love?) it might be extremely distressing for your pet.
It will come as no surprise to you that Halloween can be an anxious time for your pet. With the doorbell ringing one minute and fireworks and bangers going off the next, it's no wonder pets can become filled with panic at this time of year.
The DSPCA are encouraging people to be extra mindful of their pets this Halloween, and have shared their top tips to help your furry pal.
How to look after your pet this Halloween.
Keep pets inside.
Keep your pets inside a family room or bedroom, away from noise and commotion. If they are very distressed, make sure someone is with them at all times. Putting the radio or television on may help to mute the noises coming from outside.
Never leave your pet alone in a room with lit candles, pumpkins, etc.
Your pet's tail could wreak havoc in a room with lit candles, especially if they are reacting to the noise and excitement happening outside. Not only could your pet knock something down and cause a fire, but they could also severely injure themselves in the process.
Don't take your pets trick or treating.
While it may seem a better alternative than leaving them at home, your pet may become distressed and confused by strange smells, costumes and loud noises. Encourage someone in your family to stay at home with them instead.
Talk to your vet if you feel your pet is distressed.
There are treatments and medications which can help but don't leave it too late, as some of these treatments need time to work. One such product on the market at the moment is "Thundershirts" - they are shirts which exert gentle pressure on your pet which relaxes them.
Make sure your pet can be clearly identified.
Every year, the DSCPA get calls from pet owners reporting that their pet has run away after being scared by fireworks. It is so important that your pet is microchipped (the DSPCA will microchip your pet for you) and clearly identified.
Make sure rabbits and other caged animals are safe.
Rabbits and caged animals should be kept safely in their cages, with a fabric over the top to muffle the sound - as long as there is sufficient ventilation. When it comes to horses, the DSPCA says that they should be securely stabled or taken away from the area completely.
Make sure you tell the kids to not share their sweets (especially chocolate) with their pet.
If you see an animal in need, call the DSPCA.
Never ignore animals in need. Report animal abuse and neglect immediately to An Gardai Siochana or contact the DSPCA at 01-499 4700