Halloween can be a fun time for children and families. But for pets, it can be a nightmare! Here are 10 tips to make sure your dog’s Halloween isn’t frightening:
Candy is not for pets.
All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, and even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween 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. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t leave your dog out in the yard on Halloween.
Visualize this: Children in scary/strange costumes. Walking, running, and yelling near your house. While your dog is loose in your yard. Enough said.
Keep your dog confined and away from the door.
Not only will your doorbell be ringing, but your door will also be constantly opening and closing. Add to that the number of strangers dressed in unusual outfits and you can understand why it’s a place your dog should be far away from. To avoid potential fearful/aggressive reactions, put your dog in a secure room away from the front door. This will also prevent him from darting outside into the night!
Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins…
Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.
Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your dog could receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.
If you do decide that your dog needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, their sight, or the ability to breathe or bark.
Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work, too!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date and that even if your dog is microchipped, he still has a visible ID collar/tag.
The day AFTER Halloween is dangerous, too!
When you take your dog out for a walk, be on the lookout for candy on the ground. Sometimes it’s hard to see with all the leaves on the ground, so be extra alert in the coming days.