Halloween is coming up! I found it amusing and darling that in a recent PetSmart survey 75% of pet owners are planning to dress their pets up for Halloween and other fall occasions, with some owners coordinating matching outfits! What fun! I am always interested in how families celebrate holidays in different ways. Trick-or-treating is a traditional Halloween custom for children throughout in the United States which means many of us will get knocks on our doors from children in costumes asking for candy. As someone with a career in the fashion industry, I always enjoy seeing the costumes and the creativity put into some of them. But you know who doesn’t enjoy those knocks (or doorbell rings!) … my dogs! For some pet owners, this is a difficult holiday because the constant flow of people at the door coupled with all the noise, can cause some pets to be anxious. However, I give the same advice I do when traveling with a pet: BE PREPARED!

Here are my favorite tips to ensure your cats and dogs are calm while Halloween trick-or-treating is going on!

Hooting & Howling for Healthy Treats

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and chocolate can be lethal to cats.  So, when you are selecting candy to hand out, I would recommend picking one that contains no chocolate. While you might think you are being very careful and putting it out of reach, accidents happen! And of course, remember to pick out a treat for your pet so they feel special on Halloween! Here is a list of the eight best healthy cat treats and dog treats.

The Monster Mash

The folks at Zoundz Music For Pets created species-specific music specifically to calm your pet during a variety of stress-inducing situations. Halloween is a perfect time to play the Monster Mash for humans and other music for cats and dogs to help enhance their well-being. Whether you use a paid-for subscription like Zoundz or use your phone or television for music, just make sure it is on during trick-or-treating festivities to help calm your pets. There have been countless studies about the best genres of music for pets to listen to that are worth researching, but I find that each pet is different, so try to test a few different varieties to find out what your pet likes best!

The Trick is in the Carrier

I can’t recommend this enough to pet owners: create a safe space. I am sure you have a space in your home that you like to retreat to when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Give that same option to your pet. Find a quiet room in your home where you can put a pet carrier like, The SHERPA Bag, where they can be during the Halloween festivities. You can choose to close the door of the room, which might keep them safe from getting out of the house with all the door opening, but do not close them in the carrier. When it is at home, I recommend letting your pet go to and from the carrier as they chose. This will make them feel more comfortable and happier in their space.

These are a few tips that can help your pet on Halloween night if you plan on welcoming trick-or-treaters. It is always best to be prepared so your night can be as enjoyable as possible for both you and your pet. If your pet is still very anxious, it might be worth sitting outside and handing out candy or leaving a bowl of candy outside to eliminate the knocking and doorbell ringing which can be a trigger for pets. Whatever you decide to do, just be in the moment and try to enjoy it because Halloween marks the start of the holiday season, which holds many fun opportunities for pets and their owners!

Gayle Martz is the SilverDisobedience Pet Ambassador who will be sharing her insight on a variety of pet-related topics. Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag you see everywhere! This carrier, which millions have bought for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popularly soft-sided pet carrier. Further, it is because of Gayle’s advocacy and entrepreneurship that pet travel on airlines is now possible and common. Gayle’s the author of “IT’S IN THE BAG”, which is part memoir and part business book.