Equestrian Needs Ltd


Halloween can be a fun time but for pets it can be stressful or even dangerous. If left alone they can become the victim of pranks or can be frightened by the noise of fireworks.


  • Be aware of where local firework displays will be held in the vicinity and if possible alert organizers to the presence of horses so they can amend plans if necessary.
  • Consider where to leave your horse, a familiar environment within normal routine is generally best but if your horse is likely to be upset you may need to consider alternatives.
  • If you are stabling, check for anything which could cause a potential injury such as string or protruding nails. If your horse is to remain in the field, ensure the fencing is secure. A companion may help and provide plenty of hay to keep them occupied.
  • Check on animals regularly throughout the evening particularly if you know fireworks will be going off nearby. Leave clear instructions or contact details for you and your vet.
  • If you believe your animal will be stressed, discuss sedation options with your vet. A radio may help to camouflage the noise and distract attention. Alternatively you may consider horse ear plugs.
  • Have sand and water available in case of fire. Check your fire extinguishers and evacuation procedures and ensure everyone is aware of them. In the event of an incident, try to remain clam and keep positive, horses sense unease and it may make things worse.
  • You should never risk riding when you think fireworks might be set off. Please be vigilant about horses that may be near bonfire locations.
  • Check your field in the morning to ensure there are no stray fireworks.
  • If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, you may be held liable so check you have adequate third party liability insurance.
  • Many events will encourage you and your horse to dress up. Not all horses are well suited to being dressed up, so test anything that makes noise or is unusual ahead of time. Remember you still need to be safe so boots and a hat should still be worn.
  • Be careful with horse treats and don't over do it!

Cats and Dogs

  • Bring cats and dogs indoors and if they do need to go out, stand outside with them.
  • Make sure your pet has identification, if they are scared and escape, they can be reunited with you much quicker.
  • Keep dogs away from the door if you are visited by trick-or-treaters, even docile animals could behave out of character and its best to avoid the risk of injured children. If they become extremely anxious or hyperactive at the doorbell ringing over and over again, discuss sedative options with your vet.
  • Keep the TV or radio on as this may help to disguise or distract from firework noise.
  • Avoid taking your dog trick-or-treating. They may become unpredictable with loud noises causing injury and it will be a nightmare to recover your pet should they break free.
  • Cats can become the subject of pranks, particularly black cats so take special care to bring them indoors.
  • Remember that Halloween treats should not be fed to pets. Chocolate (all sorts), candies and gum can be potentially poisonous to animals. Ensure that such products are kept out of reach at all times.
  • Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers out of reach and never allow your pets to have access to alcoholic beverages. Decorative items such as pumkins could also pose a risk of intestinal blockage if ingested.
  • If you suspect your pet may have become exposed or ingested a potentially toxic substance, please seek advice from you Vet.

Updated: October 2013

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