Halloween Safety Tips for Your Dog as little ghosts and goblins get ready for the spookiest night of the year, families with pets can make sure it is fun for all with five simple precautions.
1. Keep tasty treats out of reach!
Your four-legged friends might insist that their diet is incomplete without chocolate. However, many pets are allergic to theobromine, a chemical compound found in chocolate. It behaves in a manner similar to caffeine, and dogs do not metabolize it the way humans do. A tiny amount of dark or unsweetened chocolate can poison dogs, and even milk chocolate can do serious damage and even cause death if enough is eaten.
Unfortunately, chocolate isn’t the only danger to dogs. A common ingredient in sugar-free products, Xylitol, can make pets suddenly and seriously ill. Finally, beware of the innocent-looking boxes of raisins that seem like such a healthy snack. It is a little known fact that these can be quite toxic to dogs, causing sudden kidney failure.
2. Choose Pet-Friendly Halloween Decor!
Though most canine companions tend to shy away from flames, it is easy for them to accidentally get too close. In their excitement over the visitors coming to your door, a cheerful greeting can go wrong when they knock over or step on candles, jack-o-lanterns, and other spooky decorations. Choose flameless candles and other, safer, equally creepy sources of light to prevent the evening from ending in a veterinary emergency. If an accident does cause a burn to your furry friend, cool the area immediately with water and ice packs, and then wrap the area in a non-stick bandage or dressing. Contact your vet as soon as possible for additional instructions.
3. Guard Your Glow Sticks!
Glow sticks are popular safety lights for trick or treaters, and in many cases, families use them in decorations as an alternative to dangerous candles. However, sometimes these can be irresistible chew toys for playful pups, and that is where the trouble starts. There are several concerns when it comes to glow sticks. First, the liquid inside while not highly toxic – can cause animals significant distress because of its bitter taste. Some dogs have experienced chemical-type burns in their mouths. When the liquid leaks onto fur, the problem can re-occur when they groom themselves.
4. Harness that Protective Instinct!
Even the friendliest dogs can lose their cool with all of the doorbell-ringing, heavy traffic, and dressed-up visitors coming through. Your pup might show symptoms of anxiety, such as cowering, shaking, and hiding, or perhaps some situational aggression in the form of barking, growling, and jumping. A quiet room in the back of the house is often the best place for your pup. Animals with significant anxiety issues might be happier spending the day in daycare and the evening in quiet hotel suite at Very Important Paws where they can nap through the festivities.
5. Beware of Bolting!
Most families know that the Fourth of July is the number one holiday for lost dogs. All of the booming fireworks can frighten even the most laid back four-pawed friends into bolting out of the house or yard. Halloween actually comes in as a close second when it comes to lost dogs. With doors opening and closing and lots of scary sights and sounds, there are many opportunities for pups to run off. Keeping dogs safely confined in a quiet room is your best bet. Consider the extra security of micro-chipping, which significantly improves the chances that you and your pet will be reunited if he or she does get lost.