5 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
We are very happy to share our latest blog post contributed by guest writer Anita Fernandes. Anita has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade and shares her top 5 tips for keeping your dog safe this Halloween.
Halloween is a fun time for families but it can be a nightmare for your dog since animals are more sensitive to change. The continuous ringing of your doorbell can alarm your dog and they may go into “protection mode”. Similarly, your dog might look absolutely adorable in his or her little pet costume but this could also be an additional source of stress so only dress them up if it’s something they enjoy. There are several ways to reduce the negative effects of Halloween on your dog whilst also ensuring their safety.
1. Chocolate or sweets are a strict no-no
Halloween is a time for family bonding so it’s natural that you would want to include your furry family members in the fun. Unfortunately, all forms of chocolate are dangerous and even potentially fatal for dogs. This is because it's contains the artificial sweetener xylitol which causes liver failure or a sudden drop in blood pressure in dogs. If your dog gets a sudden bout of diarrhoea or vomiting, you should contact your vet to rule out chocolate poisoning. Children are likely to share their treats with the family pet which is why it’s important to discuss this with your kids. A simple way to include your pet in your Halloween celebrations is to whip up a batch of dog-friendly biscuits or cupcakes complete with icing!
2. Keep dogs away from the door
Your door will be constantly opening and closing the entire evening which could result in an escape attempt, especially if your dog is troubled by the noise. The constant stream of strangers on your doorstep could also trigger unexpected aggression in your normally calm and placid pet. If your dog manages to dart out into the night, he will be scared by all the unusual costumes and you will have a very hard time finding him in all the Halloween chaos. To prevent this, keep your dog in his crate for the evening or in a room that’s farthest away from your front door. If your dog is not used to being confined in his crate, you can do a few practice runs in the days leading up to Halloween so that he will remain calm in his crate with his favourite toys for the entire evening.
3. Keep glow sticks out of reach
Glow sticks have become popular as they can be used as decoration for a Halloween party or for kids to stay safe while they are out trick or treating. Kids also love glow jewellery such as bracelets, necklaces and wands. Dogs often see these glow sticks as just another chew toy and if they get hold of one, they are likely to chew it open. The good news is that the liquid inside glow sticks is not toxic but the bad news is that it tastes awful. If your pet has managed to chew through a glow stick, he will start drooling, pawing at his mouth and show signs of extreme agitation. Although these symptoms look alarming, there’s no real cause for concern. Vets recommend that you offer your dog a small meal to help clear the offensive material from his mouth. You can get your dog a pet-friendly ball at Halloween so that he is distracted by a new toy.
4. Throw pumpkin displays out in 3-5 days
Pumpkin displays can last for over a week so you might be tempted to keep them around. This is not a good idea if you have a dog as he might be tempted to take a nibble out of them and it could cause an intestinal blockage if he’s ingested large pieces. Furthermore, pumpkins attract mold, some of which produce mycotoxins that cause neurological problems in animals. Soaking or spraying your pumpkin displays with bleach can help to prevent mold but this would expose your dog to these chemicals which are toxic to pets. It is best to toss your pumpkin displays into your compost pit or chop them up and add them to your flower beds within a few days.
5. Don't use wax candles in your pumpkins
There's no doubt that pumpkins are one of the most popular and creative Halloween decorations. The flickering light from the candles in your pumpkins can add to their spookiness but can also pose a risk to your pet. Your dog might get burnt or even cause a fire if he knocks the pumpkin over. Use a battery-operated LED candle to eliminate the risk of fire and injury.
Halloween is an exciting and chaotic time which is why you might not notice that your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t. Ensure that the whole family follows these safety tips and stay vigilant to enjoy a stress-free Halloween.
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