Millions of children will be taking to the street this weekend, dressed as their favourite ghouls, goblins, superheroes, princesses, and animals. Some adults will participate in Halloween adventures, too, though the treats they get tend to be a little different. And while we hope everyone has a fun and safe night, we want to remind you that Halloween should be spooky and scary for us – but not for the animals.
Halloween is a big night on the west coast, which includes the unique use of fireworks. Please remember to follow all basic safety tips (as prescribed by expert sources like Natural Resources Canada) and local restrictions – times, locations, and types of explosives may be set in by-laws. But also remember that many pets will be frightened by the noise and, in panic, try to escape. If you have pets, keep them indoors when it gets dark out, make sure they’re wearing appropriate identification tags, and know the number of your local animal control group.
If you’ll be driving, be watchful for animals running across roads (as well as little trick or treaters). The sudden explosive sounds and lights from fireworks can cause a panic in just about any living creature.
Candy – from chocolate to gum – isn’t good for animals (technically this could include little humans, too, but we’ll just stick with wildlife and pets for now). Make sure all the treats captured are kept in a secure location and wrappers/sticks/leftovers are thrown away in proper waste receptacles.
You should also consider Jack O’Lanterns a potential treat for furry neighbours – we’ve been hearing stories of bears picking them up for a late autumn snack. Taking decorative pumpkins inside at night could help keep them safer from some “tricksters” in your neighbourhood, too.
Look, we know our plea for compassion on Halloween (and Devil’s Night) may fall on deaf ears of some dedicated tricksters. So what we’ll ask is that you do no harm: consider biodegradable and non-toxic materials, avoid causing damage to property (natural or manmade), and remember it’s meant to be fun, not harmful or dangerous to anyone.
Photo provided by Cohen the Australian Shepherd
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