Halloween is going to the dogs! As you well know by now if you'veﾠread any ofﾠmy previous blogs, I love seeing pets dressed up for Halloween in pet costumes. Of course it's more of the pet owner's idea than it is of the pets, but it's still adorable to see little Fido dressed as Superman! As cute as it is to dress up your dog or cat and parade them around the neighborhood, Halloween can still be a very frightening time for pets. We've all heard of safety tips for your children, but did you know there are safety tips for your pets too? Each year veterinarians nationwide see pet injuries that could have been avoided if only the pet owner would have known how to protect their pet on Halloween night. Here are some ways to help keep your pet safe and stress-free on Halloween:
- Find a secure place in your home to keep your pets, especially if you're giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when the door opens and the presence of little (and big)ﾠcostumed people often scares them, increasing the chance your dog will run away or get hit by a car.
- Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date I.D. collar and tag and/or a microchip.
- Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Give them plenty of chew toys, a favorite blanket or anything that comforts your pet.
- Always keep your petﾠindoors. In addition to the parade of trick-or-treaters frightening and agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings, and pet thefts.
- No tricks, no treats. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. It contains Theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is and the smaller the lethal dose. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous as well as causing choking or intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
All of these things are simple to do. I always hated walking up to a door with my child, ringing the doorbellﾠand having their dog come bolting up to the door barking up a storm. You never know if when they open the door to give my child candy if that dog is coming out too. For the most part all dogs just bark when someone rings the doorbell and they're as harmless as a fly, but it's still a little nerve racking when it's your child standing on the other side of that door. If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises or a habit of excessive barking, put him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive. It's always better to be safe than sorry!