Halloween is a festive fun time for children and families, but how about for your dog? Sure it can be fun for them as well, but it can also be a nightmare. Here are a few tips for you and for your entire family to follow so everyone, including your fur baby, can have a fun time without any stress and dangers!
ID please: if your dog should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are great but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, use halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.
Dress up doggie, yay or nay?: don’t dress your dog in a costume unless you know he or she will love it. Make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your dog. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. And please don’t wait until halloween night to put your dog in a costume for the first time. Anytime you want to introduce your dog to something new, it is wise to go slowly. Make it a positive experience by offering lots of praise and treats and dress the costume on for short periods of time.
Stay away from the door: your door will probably be opening and closing on halloween and strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling for their candy. Dogs tend to be territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters or even try to dart outside into the night.
Be aware of the dangers of keeping your dog in the backyard, surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill dogs on halloween night. Keep your dog inside, in a room not close to the front door and back door, and if you decide to take your dog trick-or-treating, make sure to keep him or her leashed on at all the time.
Trick-or-treats candies are not for dogs: all forms of chocolate can be dangerous, even lethal for dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and seizures. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.
Lit pumpkins and electric/powered decoration: please make sure to place them well out of reach of your dog. If they get too close to them, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire, and if they chew on electrical cords, they can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock, and batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body, or if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.
Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your dog safe doesn't have to be tricky.