Nearly everyone loves Halloween! The closer it gets, the more the excitement level rises.
Kids dress up like adults, and adults get a chance to act like they are 8-year-olds again. Quite a few dog owners take a certain sense of sartorial pride, not only in their costumes; but also in the creativity of their pet’s Halloween attire, much to their dog’s chagrin.
The holiday can stay fun and exciting, even for the family pooch with a few simple precautions.
Halloween dog safety suggestions
Decorations add to the festivities, but as many dog owners know, anything new can and often does catch their pet’s attention. Most decorations are non-toxic, but they can be the source of other problems, such as choking and obstructions. Keep them out of reach.
Those flossy spider webs add a nice spooky touch, but if your pet gets into it, they can cause obstructions. Many puppies cannot resist chewing on anything plastic. Be careful; it could be a choking hazard.
Gourds and Indian corn are often covered with lacquer or preservatives that could be toxic. They look like something fun to play with or nibble on, so keep them out of the reach of your pets.
Eating the Jack-o-Lantern most likely won’t kill your dog, but eating too much raw pumpkin could cause serious digestive distress.
If you are decorating with Halloween lights, make sure all cords are out of reach of puppies. Puppies are drawn to electrical cords like flies are to, well, you know.
Candles add a special eerie effect to the ghoulish touch of Halloween decorating but make sure they are out of reach. Hot wax and flames can make for a holiday disaster should your puppy or dog get into lit candles or knock one over.
There is usually a ton of excitement between the doorbell ringing non-stop and your animated trick-or-treaters collecting their loot. Don’t take any chances of your puppy or dog slipping out the door while you are ooohing and aaahing over costumes!
If your pet is not trained to stay away from an opened door, or the excitement level may be too high for them, it may prove prudent to ensure your pup is secured in another closed room or crate. Expect a lot of barking.
If you don’t want to keep your dog away from the action and fun, ensure they wear their collar with an updated identification tag. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but you never know. In the blink of an eye, they could be gone out the door.
If you are taking your dog with you, ensure they are securely collared and have an updated ID tag. With all the activity, they can easily slip their collar if it’s not fitted correctly. Adding some reflective striping on their collar or costume wouldn’t hurt.
We hate to think anyone would want to hurt children or pets, but Halloween is not the time to risk having your pooch take treats from strangers. Some people do provide biscuits or other treats for trick-or-treating pooches.
Just as careful with what your children receive, take the same precaution for your dog. If you don’t know the giver, don’t give the treat to your dog. To be courteous, you can accept the treat but don’t have to give it to your pet immediately. Take it home and toss it out.
What dog doesn’t like candy? To them, Halloween is almost as tasty as Christmas. If you don’t want to spend the next few days nursing a pet with an upset tummy or have to make an emergency trip to your veterinarian, keep all candy out of reach.
Instead, give your dog safe, healthy treats made just for him.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful princess, a spooky witch, or an adorable ladybug?
Just make sure your dog’s costume fits comfortably. You don’t want it to be too tight, but you also don’t want it to be too loose so it could trip your dog.
Watch out for costumes that obstruct your dog’s vision. And, if your dog seems uncomfortable or frightened, remove the costume immediately.
Remember Halloween dog safety. Keep decorations, lights, candles, and candy out of their reach to prevent injuries. Make sure they are collared and have current IDs should they slip out the door.
If you take your dog with you, don’t feed your dog treats from strangers. Regrettably, you can’t trust everyone.
By following a few simple precautions, Halloween can be fun for you and your dog.
Karen A. Soukiasian is the owner of Good Dog! — Dog Training in St. Augustine, Florida. You can follow Karen on Facebook.