Halloween can be a great time of year for your entire family (of course that includes the dog, too!) However, because there are a few extra potential hazards and likely sources of stress for our four-legged best friends during this spooky night, it’s important that you keep him safe.
The week leading up to and just after Halloween is one of the busiest times of year for the Pet Poison Hotline, and the 2nd most common holiday for pets to get lost (after July 4th).
By taking some basic precautionary measures this Halloween, you’ll keep your family and your pooch exclaiming “Trick or Treat” year after year.
What to Do:
· Watch out for diet treats. It may seem like a great idea to give Fido sugar-free candies and cookies, but you could actually be poisoning your pet. Xylitol an an artificial sweetener that is harmful to your pooch and can cause a radical drop in your pet’s blood pressure, cause liver damage, and worse, death.
· Look out for chocolates. Keep Fido away from chocolates, especially the dark ones. These delights contain theobromine which, although harmless to humans, can be lethal to your dog, resulting in increased heart rate, shaking, seizure, and death.
· Avoid grapes and raisins. Although many dogs can eat grapes and raisins without suffering any ill effects, others can end up afflicted with kidney failure and even death. Best to skip these sweets altogether and not find out one way or the other.
· Beware of macadamia nuts. You probably won’t get many of these in your kid’s treat bag, but in case you do, immediately put them away. Macadamia nuts have been found to trigger not only diarrhea and vomiting in dogs, but also hind-leg weakness and fleeting paralysis.
What Not to Do:
· Don’t allow your dog access to pennies. People don’t only give out candies and cookies as treats, some hand out coins. Because some dogs will eat almost anything, make sure that your pup doesn’t ingest coins as they can cause severe anemia as well as kidney breakdown.
· Don’t leave harmful objects in your dog’s reach. Put away candy foil wraps, electric cords, and keep Halloween displays beyond your pet’s reach. While the shiny candy wraps can cause various intestinal problems, electrical cords, when chewed on, can deliver fatal electric shock. Displays like Jack O’ Lanterns and candles also have to be kept in a safe place as knocking them over can burn your curious pooch and start fire.
· Don’t let “scary” visitors and mischievous people approach your dog. Some pets can get frightened by those spooky costumes and crowds of people. If scared, your pup may try to flee or bite an innocent trick-or-treater. Plus, the fear is stressful to your pet. To avoid unnecessarily scaring your dog, put him in a secure room during trick-or-treat hours. If you have a dog that goes berserk every time the doorbell rings, you might consider either disabling the bell or sitting outside to hand out treats.
Also, remember to safeguard your pet from thieves. It’s not uncommon for pets to be stolen from backyards on Halloween and used for rituals and other ill reasons.
· Don’t leave your pooch wearing his costume unsupervised. Your pup may pull his new outfit off, knock things over, eat it, or worse, get tangled and choke on it. Always look after him while he’s still dressed up for the night.