Halloween is filled with tricks and treats. It is our responsibility to make it safe for our dogs. Please keep the following in mind when planning your Halloween night.
Unless your pet is used to donning the latest doggie fashions, wearing a Halloween costume can be stressful for them. Consider a festive bandana instead. If you do dress your dog up, be sure the costume is flame retardant, not too tight, and your pet is able to hear, see and breathe without a problem.
Avoid placing treat bowls on tables and counter tops where your pet can gain easy access. A high shelf, cabinet or the top of your fridge are good places to keep the candy bowl. Be sure to keep all candy away from your dog. Chocolate is toxic to your pet. Candies containing artificial sweetener xylitol are poisonous to your dog, even in small amounts. Finally, be sure candy wrappers make it in the trash, and not in your dog’s mouth.
Keep your pets indoors. Unfortunately, Halloween could be an excuse to mistreat, tease, injure, steal, and even kill an innocent animal.
Even if your pet knows the visitors, costumes can increase anxiety and fear for your dog. Consider keeping your dog in a quiet room, away from the door. Scared pets may scratch, bite, or run away. If your dog gets worked up when the door bell rings, plan to be outside to greet the children.
Motion or lighted decorations can overstimulate your dog. Lit jack-o-lanterns, candles and other lighted decorations pose a fire hazard to your pet. Be sure they are safely away from the curious noses and fluffy tails. Make sure electrical wires and cords are out of reach for your pet. Lastly, do not allow your pet to eat mums, pumpkins, gourds, corns, etc. from your holiday display. Although these are relatively nontoxic, they can cause intestinal upset and possibly blockage.
If taking your dog along for trick or treating, be sure to leash walk at all times. Also, be sure their collar has proper identification in case they escape from you. Proper ID can increase the chances of their safe return.
With a few precautions, both you and your dog can have a happy Halloween!