Halloween safety should include your dog as well as you. It will soon be here, yet neither tricks nor too many treats are good for your dog. Halloween can be a scary experience for your dog and turn out badly for trick-or-treaters on your property if you don’t plan ahead. Here are some tips ensure a safe and Happy “Howloween” with your dog:
Although you may want to include your dog in the festivities, remember that chocolate and sweets are not healthy for your canine. A dog’s digestive system is not adapted for sweets, and chocolate contains Theobromine, which can be harmful and sometimes fatal to your dog. Baking chocolate is especially high in this chemical.
On Halloween night, walk your dog while it is still light out, if possible. Your dog may find candy, wrappers, and broken eggs on lawns and streets. Make sure that these tempting treats stay out of reach.
Children in costumes, particularly masks, can frighten dogs and, in turn, dogs may frighten children. Make sure pets are in a safe and secure room when you answer the door to prevent them from running out, getting hurt, and frightening your visitors.
If you want your dog to greet trick-or-treaters, keep him on leash. Your dog may be stressed by the noise, activity, or simply the interruption of his normal routine.
If you decide to dress up your pet in a costume, supervise him at all times. Make sure it fits properly and is not in the way of his breathing, eyesight, or hearing. If your dog swallows any elastic or decorative items, it could cause bowel obstructions or choking.
Don’t leave your dog unattended outside on Halloween, even if he is behind a fence. Pranksters may target your dog with eggs, and passersby may be tempted to give your dog harmful treats and candy.
If you are having a Halloween party, consider confining your dog securely in one area of the house. Leave a radio or TV and lights on for the dog.
Be careful about where you place candles and Jack-o-Lanterns. They can easily be knocked over by your dog’ s wagging tail and either start a fire or burn the dog.
For more information, visit the American Kennel Club’s Official eNewsletter.