Halloween, or Howloween as we like to call it in our household, can be a lot of fun for us hoomans, but for our favorite furry fiends the holiday can be both stressful and dangerous. Read on for our top tips to keep your pups happy and carefree during this hauntingly good holiday.
Tag Those Puppies Up and Keep Them Calm
On a night like Halloween lots of us will see a flurry of visitors in various and even adorable costumes. It is important to remember that having too many strangers arrive at the front door can often be stressful and frightening for dogs. Even some of the most well trained pups have been known to door dash with that many strange faces coming and going. To prevent your dog from darting out the front door keep them in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick or treating hours. And also make sure that your pooch’s tags are up to date with proper identification including at least your phone number and the name of your dog. If your pet is microchipped that is even better! Having proper identification for your pet can be a life saver should he or she get out.
To Costume or Not to Costume…
It is important to remember that not all dogs enjoy wearing costumes and in fact for those that dislike the trend it can cause undue stress. If you want to dress up your pet for the holiday make sure to try their costume on before the 31st. Not only will this give you a good gauge of whether your dog is ok with wearing costumes, but you’ll be able to make sure that it fits properly. Make sure your dog can still move and breathe properly in any costume. Check the outfit for any pieces that dangle and/or can be chewed off easily as they can present a choking hazard. Costumes that don’t fit properly can get caught and twisted on other objects around them which may lead to injury.
If your pet is not into costumes there are ways that they can still participate in “dressing up.” Try out a festive collar or one of these Halloween themed bandanas.
Stash the Candy
While we are ever vigilant dog pawrents it bears reminding that candy can be dangerous to pets. Chocolate, especially dark or baking, is extremely toxic to dogs, but we also have to be mindful of all those popular sugar free candies that contain xylitol. Xylitol is a substitute for sugar and even very small amounts can begin to cause a sudden drop in blood sugar in your dog and lead to loss of coordination and even seizures. If you suspect that your dog has ingested something toxic call your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center.
And remember that even candy wrappers can pose a threat to dogs as they can be ingested and cause gastrointestinal blockages. Make sure that all candy and wrappers are kept well out of reach of your pooch.
Beware the Spooky Decorations
Halloween decorations can be tons of fun but they can also pose a potential hazard to your pooch. Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns are one of the most iconic decorations but be sure to watch pets closely around them as dogs can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and accidentally start a fire or even burn themselves. Plus, once pumpkins begin to rot they can pose a risk to your dog if they accidentally ingest some. Also be wary of uncooked corn cobs which if ingested can cause upset tummies in dogs and can even cause physical blockages of the digestive system.
While battery powered and electric powered decorations are far safer than the open candle ones it they can still pose a threat to your pooch. Dogs who are prone to chewing on cords can receive potentially life threatening electrical shocks or burns. Batteries if they are ingested can cause chemical burns if they are chewed open and/or gastrointestinal blockages if swallowed whole.
Have A Night In
Pranksters have been known to tease, steal, and even injure or kill pets on Halloween night. While black cats are more prone to catnapping and cruelty this time of year it is always a good idea to bring all your pets indoors in the few days and nights leading up to Halloween unless they are under constant supervision when outdoors. Check out this article on some indoor activities to keep your pup busy. Or try enjoying a Halloween flick and some quality cuddle time with your dog.
No matter what you do with your pooch this Halloween season keep them safe with these tips and remember to call your vet or emergency pet hospital if you suspect your pet has gotten into something or injured themselves.