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
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.