Tips to make Halloween safer for your dog
Halloween, while it can be a fun event for families and your pets, if some safeguards aren’t taken, it can be a frightening, traumatic time for your dogs, so make sure you keep your pet safe and secure. Here are my top tips to keep your four legged friend protected and comfortable during this Halloween event:
- Don’t give your dog any Halloween candy, especially if it contains gum or chocolate, both of which can be extremely toxic for your dog. Lollipops on sticks can cause a painful obstruction or choking hazard if swallowed and many candies are wrapped in plastic or paper wrapping which may cause an upset stomach, or even choking.
- Ensure that your dog is properly tagged with a collar, ID tag and a microchip, just in case he is startled by visitors to your door and makes a dart for it while you are otherwise distracted with trick or treaters.
- Always keep your dog away from Halloween lanterns and lit candles.
- If you must dress up your dog in a costume, please make sure that it’s comfortable and fits properly, with no small pieces that can easily be eaten. Small parts can be ingested or chewed, which can be life threatening to your dog if it causes foreign body ingestion. Get your pet accustomed to wearing the outfit before Halloween, making sure that it doesn’t constrict his moving, breathing, hearing or sight. Never leave your pet alone while he is wearing a costume.
- If you will be decorating your home in a Halloween theme, consider where you place the decorations, and what will be left on display. Anything within easy reach of your dog, such as candles and sweets, can easily be eaten or knocked over.
- If your dog is particularly wary or has an inclination to bite strangers, make sure that he is placed in another room during the hours when trick or treaters will visit. The constant stream of visitors, usually dressed in scary and unfamiliar costumes can alarm some dogs, and increase their anxiety levels.
- Unexpected, loud noises can affect your pet; they can become anxious and skittish with the constant ringing of the doorbell, the chatter and squeals just outside your front door.
- If you need to walk your dog outdoors, ensure they are on a lead and beware of people in strange looking costumes and sudden noises that may spook your dog, causing them to sprint and run away. If possible, try and walk them before its gets dark when trick or treaters are doing their rounds.
Remember, if your dog becomes extremely anxious around loud noises and is easily upset by strangers, speak to your Veterinary Surgeon about prescribing medication to keep to hand for such situations, to prevent unnecessary anxiety.