Here are some great Halloween Dog Safety Tips from dog expert Jenna Stregowski, RVT at About.com. Sometimes we can get so busy with the human kiddos and trick-or-treat mayhem, our pups can get overlooked.
Halloween Candy and Other Treats
Remember that human treats are not usually good for dogs! Candy – especially chocolate – can be extremely toxic to your dog. Artificially sweetened candy, gum and other goodies may also contain xylitol, a highly toxic substance. Dogs may also ingest food wrappers, causing a risk of choking, upset stomach or gastrointestinal blockage.
- Your dog is bound to be curious about new objects around the house, and that includes Halloween decorations. Be sure decorations are not in areas where your dog could ingest them or bump into them. Power cords trip your dog or lead to electrical shock if chewed. Be careful with the placement of jack-o-lanterns – have you ever seen a dog eat a whole pumpkin? It is not pretty!
Trick-or-Treaters and other Guests
Though many dogs love visitors, some can become fearful of strangers. Many dogs will even be afraid of people they know if those people are in costumes. Plus, constant ringing of the doorbell might get your dog over-excited or very stressed out. Think about your dog’s typical reaction to visitors and take extra precautions for Halloween.
Halloween Costumes for Dogs
Some dogs really enjoy getting dressed in costumes – they might ham it up and revel in the attention. Other dogs can become scared or uncomfortable in clothing of any type. If you want to dress your dog up, start simple and see how she handles it. If she does not like it, then don’t push the issue. Try a Halloween bandanna or collar instead. If your dog does seem to enjoy getting dressed up, be certain you choose a costume that fits comfortably. If it is too tight, it could cut off circulation or cause sores to develop. Loose-fitting outfits can trip your dog or get caught on objects around the house. Because of these potential dangers, never leave your dog unattended in the costume. She could become injured or may ingest parts of the costume and choke, become sick, or develop gastrointestinal blockage.
I personally feel that unsupervised dogs are best kept indoors year-round, though some dogs will do fine living outdoors alone. However, the rules are different during the Halloween season! It is extremely crucial that you keep your dog indoors unless directly supervised. Sadly, there are cruel people who have twisted ideas of fun this time of year – and your dog can be the victim. Though it is more widely known that black cats are targeted during Halloween, any household pet can be at risk and MUST be kept indoors!