Providing a not so scary Halloween for your dog

Halloween in Celebration brings out thousands of residents and visitors to enjoy the spookiest night of the year. For some dogs, Halloween presents potential hazards and can cause almost as much stress as fireworks on the 4th of July.  Keeping your dog safe doesn’t have to be tricky if you follow some Halloween safety tips.

Save the Candy for the Kids

Chocolate can be toxic to dogs and it is everywhere on Halloween. You also need to look out for candies made with Xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener, which can be deadly if ingested by your pet.  If you are unlucky enough to get a box of raisins, don’t try to pass them off to the dog because eating them can cause acute kidney failure. Keep dogs away from candy and snack bags too. Dogs may go looking for leftover crumbs in a bag, but could get their head stuck and it only takes 3-5 minutes for a dog to suffocate.

Give your Dog a Safe, Stress-free Place

It is likely that your doorbell will be ringing a lot on Halloween and you will be opening and closing the door for hours. Add to that a sidewalk filled with strangers in costume and your dog’s stress level could go way up. Consider putting dogs in a quiet room or in the crate to reduce stress and help them relax. Make sure your pet has plenty of dog treats and toys to stay entertained.

Select Costumes that are Safe for Pets

If you decide to dress up your dog for Halloween, select a costume that is safe, non-flammable, and non-toxic. Be sure it does not restrict movement, vision or breathing. Be careful of ties and dangling pieces that could become a choking hazard. Try the costume on your pet before the big day to gauge the dog’s reaction and never leave your pet unattended while wearing the costume.

Use Caution around Decorations

Decorating for Halloween has become almost as popular as Christmas, but electric and battery-powered decorations can pose some risks.  If your dog chews an electrical cord, he could receive a burn or life-threatening electrical shock. Chewing on batteries can result in chemical burns or cause gastrointestinal issues or blockage if swallowed. Chewing on decorations such as fake spider webs, pumpkins, hay and corn could lead to stomach upset or an obstruction if ingested.  For dogs who are noise averse, decorations that include haunting and spooky sounds can cause stress levels to spike.

Look Out for Food and Garbage Left on the Sidewalks

When all of the ghosts and goblins have gone home and you are taking your pet out for the final evening walk, look out for food and trash left on the sidewalks. Your dog’s nose will find every M&M that was dropped on the ground and will swallow it in seconds. Use a flashlight and be extra cautious until the leftover Halloween goodies have been cleared away.

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

 

The above article appears in the October 2019 edition of the Celebration News

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