Halloween is a great time of the year for having some fun and pulling some tricks, but Halloween for dogs can be
a stressful time. There are lots of unfamiliar things happening, that dogs just can’t understand. As a dog pet owner, it is your responsibility to keep your dog safe, so you and your family can have some fun. Every year vet calls increase by 12% during Halloween from someone not following safe practices.
The following safety tips should help everyone have a happy, ghoulish evening.
Keep Your Dog Away From The Candy And Snacks
One of the biggest problems on Halloween, is dogs getting into the candy. Either from the bowl of candy you have close to the door to hand out to all your little trick or treaters, or from the loot of candy that your own little ghosts and goblins bring home.
A large portion of the candy that your children will bring home will be chocolate. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Every year, thousands of calls come into the Pet Poison Helpline from pet owners whose dog has gotten into the Halloween candy.
If you think your dog has ingested chocolate, there are several symptoms to watch for. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in the worst case they could have seizures. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, make some calls right away to find out how you should handle the situation. The Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7 at 855-764-7661.
Keep your dog away from hard candies, gum and mints. Most of these will contain Xylitol. It is a sugar-free sweetener that is safe for humans, but it kills thousands of dogs every year. For the full list of products that have Xylitol, see Preventative Vet. They have over 700 products listed that contain this ingredient, and they say their list isn’t even a complete list. They are always adding more items.
I hope your kids score better than getting raisins in their treat bag, but if they do, keep them away from your dog. Raisins can cause kidney failure for your dog.
Put Your Dog In a Safe Room
When that doorbell starts ringing, you are going to want to have your dog in a safe room or crate, away from the door. A normally calm dog can get stressed out and even become aggressive from how many times the doorbell is ringing, and the loud squeals. Then you top it off with the costumes and the masks the kids are wearing, and you could have a stressed out dog on your hands.
The door opening and closing frequently will also be a tempting challenge for them to escape. It is amazing how quickly a dog nowhere near a door can get there and run out before you have a chance to stop them.
Make sure your dog has his collar on with current tags in case they become an escape artist.
Keep Your Dog Inside
Unfortunately, on Halloween, there are lots of pranksters out and about and some of them are mean and seem to think Halloween is a time to harm dogs and other pets. They have been know to steal animals, injure animals, tease animals and even kill pets.
Black cats are the most in danger, and many animal shelters won’t even adopt out black cats the whole month of October.
Avoid walking your dog during the time trick or treaters are out. Rather, walk your dog earlier so they are more relaxed while the festivities are going on. If you have to go out during trick or treating, make sure you have a harness or a collar that your dog can’t get out of. They won’t be acting how your dog normally acts with all the people, costumes and masks around.
Keep Snack And Candy Bags Out Of Reach
The plastic or Mylar bags that many people hand out are a real risk for your dog. Dogs have been known to stick their noses in these bags looking for crumbs of food. Their head can get stuck in the bag, and as they breathe in it creates a vacuum seal. Your dog can suffocate in 3-5 minutes.
Keep Your Dog Away From Halloween Decorations
Pumpkins and corn stalks are festive Halloween decorations, but can be dangerous for your dog. Pumpkins can become moldy and your dog could get gastrointestinal upset. Also, you will want to make sure that your dog can’t get anywhere near a pumpkin that is lit. They can easily knock them over and either burn themselves or start a fire.
Corn stalks that get ingested can cause a blockage in your dog and can be quite painful.
Fake spider web can look like an interesting adventure for dogs, but they also would cause damage to your dog’s intestines.
Keep glow sticks away from your dog. Although they are not toxic if they break them open, they will have some issues from them. They might drool or vomit. It is best to give them some water and possibly a bit of food to get it out of their mouth.
If you are the family that really does your house up with flashing lights, scary sounds and other decorations that need electricity. Be conscious of your cord placement. You will be running cords in places where you generally don’t have cords, and a frustrated unsupervised dog just might decide to chew on them. Chewing on a cord can cause burns to the mouth and tongue and possibly some very large vet bills.
Dogs And Costumes
Don’t dress your dog in a Halloween costume unless you know they are going to like it. Try it on them several times ahead of time to help get them comfortable wearing the costume.
Make sure the costume is safe for them and something that isn’t annoying. Their costume shouldn’t restrict their movement, hearing, eyesight or being able to move.
Watch out for tie strings and dangling parts. They can get caught on things and possibly choke your dog. They should always be supervised while they are in their costume.
Watch for signs that your dog is uncomfortable in their costume. If they have folded down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, a tucked tail or hunching over could all be signals that they are unhappy or uncomfortable.
Don’t dye your dog’s fur for Halloween Although dyes aren’t toxic to humans, they can still be harmful to pets.
By just taking a few precautions, everyone in your family can have a great Halloween. Have some treats on hand, to help your dog feel special, and keep an eye on your dog to help gauge how they are doing with the commotion. Halloween for dogs can be fun too. We just have to keep them safe.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.