Leonard Animal Clinic - October 2019

OCTOBER 2019

903.587.2210

Pet Gazette The Spirit of the Season From Your Hometown Vet WWW.LEONARDANIMALCLINIC.COM

What Will You Be for Halloween?

When I think of great childhood costumes, the first thing that comes to mind is the Tinker Bell costume my mom made for me one Halloween. I had really blonde hair when I was young, so I really did look like the little fairy. My mom even made the shoes with the tiny puff balls on them. I loved that costume so much. Mom always made Halloween fun. The costumes and candy were great, but my favorite part of the holiday was always decorating with my mom. We’d even throw a Halloween party some years, and Mom would get dry ice for the punch bowl so it bubbled and smoked like a witch’s brew. It was fun to go all out and make Halloween about more than just one night of trick-or-treating. I love the spirit of Halloween. It’s an opportunity to have some fun, play around, and be someone different than who you are on a daily basis.

night to dress them up for the first time. Start in small segments. A few weeks before, show your pet the costume. Give them treats when they check it out so they know it’s not scary. A few days later, try putting it on them for a little bit. Give them a lot of praise

before taking it off. Letting your pet get used to the costume means there’s a better chance they’ll be comfortable wearing it around on Halloween. Another thing to keep in mind if you have dogs is getting them ready for trick-or-treaters. A lot of dogs become anxious at the sound of the doorbell and start barking. This stresses out both their owners and the trick-or-treaters on the other side of the door. On Halloween, it’s usually a good idea to let nervous dogs hang out in another room with the radio or TV on so they can’t hear the doorbell going off. My dog isn’t upset by the doorbell — in fact, Terra loves to greet people and doesn’t bark — but on Halloween, it’s possible she could get upset by a scary costume. This is why Terra usually spends Halloween night hanging out in her kennel with her favorite Kong toy filled with peanut butter. That’s a much better experience for everyone.

Even my dog, Terra, gets into the spirit of the season. One Halloween, back in veterinary school, I dressed up like a cage diver and Terra was a great white shark. Another year, I was Sirius Black from “Harry Potter” and Terra was my animagus, the dog form that Sirius can turn into. It’s a lot of fun to dress up with Terra. She wears a bandana regularly, so she’s used to having a little extra flair. If you want to dress your pets up for Halloween, it’s important that you ease them into it.

“I love the spirit of Halloween.”

Halloween is a holiday about fun, and I believe we should make sure it’s enjoyable for people and pets alike.

If your dog or cat usually only wears a collar, I’d recommend sticking to something small around their neck for a costume. Of course, if your dog is already used to wearing sweaters, they probably wouldn’t mind having a decorative shirt around their torso. Whatever costume you choose, don’t wait until Halloween

Have a happy Halloween!

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