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Halloween Safety Tips For Dogs
As Halloween steadily approaches, it can be a festive and whimsical time for many humans. However if not careful, it can be a total nightmare for dogs. With strange sights, stressful sounds and curious dangers, pet owners should take extra precautions to ensure their furry friend is safe and stress-free. Here at Canine Crazies, we provide a few safety tips that can help pet owners to ensure a safe and fun October 31st!
Selecting the Right Costume
While the idea of putting your pet in a costume may be adorable, it can be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Costumes may cause distress your pet. Be sure they well acquaint themselves with the costume before the big night and keep an eye on them for any signs of discomfort. If they aren’t comfortable with it, don’t make them wear it! They will do just fine in their ‘’birthday suit’’! When selecting the costume, the ASPCA recommends that the costume should not limit the pet’s movement, breathing, sight or barking. The costume should not be too small nor too large, for ill-fitting costumes can twist from external objects and cause injury. Be careful for any small dangly or loose parts of a costume that can be chewed off and cause choking hazards to your pet.
Unsure what would be the right costume for your pet? Get creative! Every year we make dog costumes sometimes last moment. Although Koda isn’t too impressed, Winnie never minds. The girls have been everything from the Big Bad Wolf, Blueberry, a Ghost, Bolt and a Beanie Baby! Costumes don’t have to be complicated. Even a simple Halloween Dog Flower or Bow Tie can be a cute spirited addition to your pet.
Keep Your Pets Inside and Calm during Festivities
As it goes with trick-or-treating, many strangers, sometimes wearing strange, frightening costumes, will come to the door in a semi-continual basis. Therefore, pets would constantly hear doorbells ringing, knocking. and doors opening and closing. The constant cacophony of sounds and the smells and sights of costume visitors Even during Halloween parties with friends, costumes change the way people look and smell making familiar people unrecognizable to them.
To prevent stress for your pet, here are a few things that can help your pet remain calm during the Halloween festivities:
Give them a safe space! – Like humans, dogs and other pets will need a ‘’safe-room’’ to relax in. Whether it would be in their crate or under the desk, pets will need to be in a place that is private, quiet and away from the door.
Distract them with toys and bones! – Enrichment toys, such as snuffle balls and snuffle mats can be used as distractions for dogs during during busy events. These toys keep their minds occupied when they need to be left alone. If your dog likes to chew, bones can also be useful to provide mental stimulation.
Turn on their favorite music or pet TV – A neat trick that can be used to distract your pet is to play music that relaxes them or play TV that is specialized for pets. It can be used to mask the noise outside of their ‘’safe-room’’ and you can easily find them on YouTube.
Even if the door is left open just ajar, many confused and frightened pets may attempt to escape. However, there would be a risk for that animal to get lost or at worst, get hurt. It is important, regardless of holiday, to keep your pet inside at all times. In the event your pet does escape, be sure your pet has a form of ID or microchip so they can be returned home safely. For notorious escape artists, like our dog Koda, using a Fi Collar can also come in handy!
Watch Out for Treats!
While candy and sweet goodies can be a fun addition for Halloween, they are extremely dangerous to dogs. Probably the most well known poison for dogs is chocolate. Chocolate contains a toxic component known as theobromine, which can build up depending how much a dog eats. A small amount may cause vomiting and diarrhea but if consumed in large quantities, it can cause more severe symptoms such as rapid breathing, hyperactivity, seizures, or heart attacks. Large dogs may be able to digest more chocolate compared to smaller dogs and milk chocolate may have smaller amounts of theobromine compared to baked and dark chocolate. However, it would not be wise for dogs, no matter the breed, to get their jaws into chocolate regardless. Another known poison pet owners should be careful about is xylitol. Found in many sugar-free candies, this ingredient can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and can cause loss of coordination and seizures. Other dangers in treats can include:
Inedible plastics (such as wrappers, string and sticks) – They can be a huge choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockage.
Raisins – Grapes contain tartaric acid which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and kidney damage or kidney failure.
Nuts – While some nuts, besides macadamia nuts, are generally non-toxic for dogs, they are high in calories and can cause obesity. Some nuts such as almonds and pistachios are choking hazards due to their size.
It is important to keep these types of treats away from your pets. For families, be sure you supervise your children! They can mistakenly give harmful treats to pets so it will be important to teach them which treats are fine for them to eat and which are fine for pets to eat. If your pet accidentally consumes candy that is dangerous for them, contact your vet and seek medical attention immediately! However, a simple meat platter with a skeleton is a fun treat you can share with your dogs!
Put Up Safe Decorations
Finally, as you put up spooky decorations for this holiday, it is important to keep them pet safe too! Be sure to keep your pets away from anything that can cause them injury, such as an open flame from a jack-o-lantern or the wires from an electric Halloween decoration. Smaller decorations such as stringy fake spider webs or fake creepy crawlies may be chewed on and cause choking hazards. To prevent any sort of injury, whether from an accidental burn or shock, be sure to put all of your decorations up high and away from curious pets. Raw pumpkin guts from jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin seeds, while non toxic, can be consumed in small quantities. However, too much can cause issues for your pet for they may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and blockage.
May you all have a safe, stress-free and wonderful Halloween!
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About the Author
Victoria, writer and story teller
Throughout her life with Autism, Victoria has a strong bond with the animals. Her love of creatures is her therapy and aid that guides her in communication. Her sketch work, digital art and short stories are all animal inspired. Creative and visionary, she's enjoys imagining a world where human and animals are one. As a co-author, researcher and lead editor for Canine Crazies, she indulges in learning more about the amazing world of canines.