A Dog Safe Halloween is a Happy Halloween. It’s that time again. For goblins and ghosts, pumpkins and pranks, and things that go bump in the night. But as responsible dog owners, please ensure that yours aren’t innocent victims of Halloween’s fun and frolics. Consider the following suggestions to keep your dogs safe not sorry.
1. Keep candy out of reach of your canine companions. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can prove toxic to them. Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you suspect yours have ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435
2. Although such Halloween favorites as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic, they can still produce upset stomachs if eaten in quantity.
3. Keep wires and cords from lights and other decorations out of reach of your dogs. If chewed, your dogs may be cut or burned or receive a potentially life-threatening electric shock.
4. Festive, carved pumpkins with candles inside can be easily knocked over by your dogs and a fire started. Not only that, but curious doggy noses and paws run the risk of being singed or burned by a candle flame.
5. Don’t put costumes on your dogs unless you’re certain they’re comfortable being decked out — not stressed out — by putting on the “glitz”. Or opt instead for draping a festive Halloween theme bandana around their necks.
6. Keep all but the most social of dogs in a separate room when “trick or treaters” come to call. Even then, take care that yours don’t dart outside into the night when the door first opens.
7. Should your dogs “pull a Houdini” and vanish, ensure they’ve either been micro-chipped or are wearing collars and up-to-date tags for proper identification and a swift return to your anxious arms. Be sure you know what to do if your dog goes missing.
With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your cherished canine companions can be assured of spending the safest and happiest of Halloweens together.
By Nomi Berger