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Halloween Dog Tips

From the costumes to the candy, Halloween is one of the more exciting holidays of the year. However, exciting isn’t always a positive thing when it comes to our dogs. We’ve outlined a few simple but effective tips and tricks for the holiday that will ensure both you and your dog have a fun but safe experience this Halloween.

Stash the Candy

Much of the candy you’ll be enjoying over the next couple weeks is very dangerous for dogs. Chocolate in all forms is toxic, no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts” about it.  Candy wrappers and treat bags are also very dangerous for pets.  Ingested candy wrappers can result in an unplanned trip to the vet.  Watch for signs such as vomiting, decreased energy or appetite as your dog may have ingested something. Snack bags can turn deadly in a matter of minutes. Cut or tear the empty bags twice (once along the bottom and once down a side), to make it a flat sheet, and throw them away in sealed trash containers.  Additionally, candies with the sugar substitute xylitol can also cause serious illness in pets. Keep these treats out of far reach to avoid any potential medical predicaments.

Practice the Costume

Pet-owners often enjoy dressing their furry friends up for the night, but many animals find the costumes stressful and uncomfortable. To avoid these issues, it’s best to try on the costume a few times ahead of time. This allows your dog an opportunity to get used to the costume and to make sure there are no obvious issues with the costume itself, such as potential choking hazards or tight fabric that limits their mobility. If practice doesn’t make perfect, it’s probably best to stick to the birthday suit!

Put Those Decorations Up Even Higher

From batteries and glow stick liquid to the potential fire hazards of lit jack-o-lanterns, it’s best to keep your Halloween decorations as far away from the furry members of the family as possible. Old pumpkins and the like are relatively non-toxic, but even so they can produce gastrointestinal issues when consumed in large quantities. There is no substitute for vigilance.

Don’t Let the Dog Out

From the colorful costumes to the loud noises, your dog is likely to have an anxious night if outside among the trick-or-treaters. Another reason to keep your dog safely indoors is to help minimize territorial aggression. When greeting trick or treaters at your home, it’s best for you to stay outside. You can hand out candy and enjoy the visits while avoiding the triggers of doorbells and door knocking that might be met with unexpected aggression. However, the most important reason to keep your pets inside are the cruel pranksters who find it funny to tease, hurt, or even steal pets on Halloween. Simply put, dogs don’t understand the
“fun” of Halloween so it’s best to keep this a kid holiday. We wish you a safe and fun Halloween… BOO!

If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

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