By Karen Fazio, CDBC
Each Halloween our pets witness very weird situations… Adults and children begin sprouting objects from their bodies (hats, cloaks, sticks, candy bags), friendly faces morph into strangers (masks and makeup), and they hear all sorts of odd sounds. One of the spookiest experiences for most is the monsters (trick-or-treaters) who threaten to enter the pet’s homes (approach the front door) unless they are shooed away by their owners (give them candy).
Halloween is a fun thrill for most of us, but it can be a really scary experience for a lot of household pets. This is especially true if these pets weren’t exposed to similar experiences while preparing pets for Halloween in a pleasant way when they were puppies or kittens. For example, during the socialization period (8- 12-weeks for dogs, 2-7 weeks for cats) a pet who was played with or handed treats by children during a Halloween party may never be frightened of costumed youngsters as an adult. However, if the pet wasn’t afforded proper socialization, it will likely grow up to be terrified or even aggressive in response to such experiences.