Halloween Safety for Pets and Strays
Plan ahead to bring dogs and cats indoors at least the night before. Remember black cats are particularly at risk for cruelty and harm on Halloween.
Especially for Dogs:
Dogs will of course still need potty breaks in the backyard but go with them on these evenings in case someone is pulling a prank that affects your backyard or fence.
If you don't let your dog have the run of the house, make sure the area you enclose him in has space for him to get up and move around, has water, food, toys and a soft bed. I've used a laundry room, gate off the kitchen area for them (see picture below), or a spare bedroom for this purpose (although my dogs usually have the run of the house).
Especially for Outdoor Cats:
If you normally allow your cats outdoors, set them up in a "Kitty Hilton" (see picture below). It's a spare room where you've got food, water, bed, litter, toys, and a scratching post or some kind of scratcher.
For strays, put their food and water where it can't be seen by people passing by or trick or treating so they are not easily exposed. If you keep a dogloo or catio outside for them put a tarp over it so it's not easily apparent there are animals within to people coming up to the door who may think it's funny or part of a 'ritual' to harm a cat on Halloween.
Window and Door Safety:
Ensure you have gates across your window screens if you open windows during this time (or any time is really best; cats go through screens all the time). See pictures below.
For dogs and cats, have a gate around the inside of exterior doors since you will be opening them to hand out candy. Your dog or cat may bolt if they get startled. I saw my neighbor running down the street in her pajamas last year when this happened in the morning, and their dog didn't come back for 36 hours during which time she was beside herself with upset. This can happen with indoor only cats too. See pictures below.
Finally, just in case something does happen, know the location and phone number of the nearest animal emergency hospital that is open 24/7 including Holidays. I have a refrigerator magnet with the three local ones nearest me. I got it from the one closest to me as with all the rescues I have had to be there on many a late night and Holiday. Like 2 legged kids, they don't get sick Monday-Friday, 9-5. It's always at 2am or a Holiday!
Stay safe and enjoy your Halloween!