With Halloween right around the corner, what a good time to share this round up of 8 Halloween myths. What have I missed? Are there other myth-teries you’d like to debunk? Share in the comments!
8 Common Halloween Myths
MYTH. Halloween costumes are fun for everyone. Even some humans find costumes creepy, so it’s no surprise some dogs do, too. Costumes can be frightening or stressful for your pooch. It’s a good idea to keep your dog safely inside and away from the trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.
MYTH. Raw pumpkin is always good for pets. Pumpkin can be used to treat diarrhea or constipation with your vet’s guidance, but keep your dog away from your old, moldy Halloween pumpkins or chunks of pumpkin that may cause blockages. Fresh, raw pumpkin can be hard to digest, so a few tablespoons of cooked or canned pumpkin puree is a better option. Never give pumpkin pie filling, which is full of salt and sweeteners.
MYTH. Cats can steal a baby’s breath. No, cats don’t want to suck out your baby’s breath or soul – and the internet is full of examples of cat/baby friendships. That said, it’s always a good idea to supervise any animals around an infant.
MYTH. Black dogs are bad luck. Black dogs appear in a number of historical myths as bad omens, which may have led to this baseless superstition. But, much like Harry Potter discovers, shaggy black dogs can be pretty great. Black cats also get their share of bad press that just ain’t true!
MYTH – MAYBE? Dogs and cats see ghosts. Sure, your pet can pick up sounds and smells that you can’t. But until science agrees that ghosts exist, we can’t assume our pets are seeing them, even if we think that WE see something ghostly! My friend, Dusty Rainbolt, has a book about feline ghosts, too. Dogs and cats do have incredible senses, however. Dogs can be trained to detect the early signs of seizures, and can detect cancer and even COVID-19.
MYTH. Black cats face extra danger on Halloween. There are no clear statistics to support the belief that black cats face an increased risk of cruelty at Halloween. But free-roaming cats (of any color) face dangers year-round, like cars, predator attacks and contact with toxins.
MYTH. All pets like to be dressed up for holidays. This one we need to call out as false, since individual cats and dogs have unique personalities and temperaments. Make sure costumes are comfortable, safe, and supervised. Keep them on your pet ONLY if they are relaxed and seem to enjoy them. Refer to this post for best practices.
MYTH. A howling dog means death is near. Dogs howl for lots of reasons. They want to say Hi! or get your attention or even tell you they’re anxious. Howling dogs can add a spooky feel to Halloween night, but they are NOT summoning the Grim Reaper.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!