First, practical advice. Secular Halloween can be a dangerous time for your pets if they spend time outside, especially black cats. Nefarious people have been known to kidnap, torture, or kill animals they come across outside during this time. It’s not common in my opinion but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep your pets indoors for Samhain/Halloween and this will also prevent trick-or-treaters from getting frightened by bigger dogs and such.

Now for the spiritual advice. Traditional Samhain observance is focused on remembering the dead, honoring their lives, and communing with their spirits while the veil is thin. We mustn’t forget the pets we’ve lost either. They’re often loving and present for many of us when humans are not.

A good way to remember your pets is to include them on your Samhain altars. I have a friend who kept dog collars from a weiner dog she lost to old age. With tributes and candles on your Samhain altar for your ancestors, you can do the same for your pets. A candle in the center of a collar would be nice, or a candle beside a photograph.

Another good way to include your pets is in the feast tradition. It’s tradition to set a place at the feast table for deceased loved ones, ancestors, etc. At the same time, you can set a place for your deceased pets with a food bowl where they would have eaten. As you tell stories about your deceased loved ones at the feast, tell stories about your deceased pets too.

Keep the memories of your pets alive.

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