Make Sure Guests Respect Your Pet’s Boundaries
Invite guests to enjoy the festivities, but make sure they respect your pets’ boundaries. If you agree to allow trick-or-treaters or other guests to interact with your pet, proceed with caution.
Dog gates, like the Carlson Pet Products extra wide walk-thru gate, are great during holidays like Halloween. Gates allow your sociable pets to stay out of the fray but still see people.
Even if your pets are free to mingle with guests, remember that even the most sociable pet may be on edge during Halloween festivities. Guests should crouch down (not bend over the pet) so they are at eye level with the pet, hold out a hand for your pet to sniff, and watch her body language. If your pet approaches the guest, it’s okay to pet it. If she moves away, the guest should not follow and should leave the pet alone.
If your pet is okay with a quick pet, remind guests that reaching for a dog’s head can be threatening. The same is true for cats. “Reaching above or across a cat can be threatening and scary for some cats,” says Dr. Valarie Tynes, DVM, President of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a veterinary services specialist with Ceva Animal Health. “I typically will hold my hand down if they act like they want to interact, and then scratch around a cat’s ears and neck.”