Living With Animals: Halloween

By Hope Bidegainberry on October 25, 2019

While absolutely a fan of his poetry, I don’t necessarily accept T.S. Eliot’s prediction, “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.” If it is going to end, I suspect the globe is more likely to spin off its axis as an unfortunate side effect of the hyper-energy released into the universe by the now almost worldwide practice of shoving limitless quantities of sugar down the throats of brightly costumed small children on Halloween, an evening we already know is timed with the lifting of the veil between our own dimension and that of the souls of the dead. Assuming this is not the year for that final chocolate-fed apocalypse, there are still Halloween excesses to avoid in the coming few days if we want our dogs and cats to welcome November psychologically and physically unscathed.

A web search for “pet costumes” produced 145,569,812 results, and that’s a whole lot of pet costumes. Clearly e-retailers ignored this column a few weeks ago entitled “A Dumb Topic” in which I talked about the risks of such things. I also gave “how to” advice assuming some of you insist on making your pet look like Taylor Swift in rainbow gear. The key is planning ahead, a slow start to make sure it’s neither frightening nor dangerous for your four-legged friend (who deserves better from you). In other words, it is too late for such a bad idea this year!

Most of us know that chocolate is bad and potentially seriously dangerous for our pets, but so too are raisins and various types of nuts. Worse yet, our animals are drawn to those brightly colored and indigestible candy wrappers, still wrapped or now emptied and dropped to the floor by tiny, gluttonous, sticky fingers. But even if your home is free of such things, be careful of who may dash out – or act up in fear and attack the costumed intruder – when little goblins ring the doorbell. Honestly, I’m not trying to ruin the fun (I actually enjoy Halloween) but please make sure to take into account how little your dog and cat understand this most peculiar evening!

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