Halloween can be a festive and fun time for the whole family, but for pets can be a very stressful experience and present them to a new set of hazards.
To ensure that both your children and dogs enjoy a fun and safe holiday, please remember the following tips:
- If you are planning on dressing your pet in a costume and he or she is not used to wearing a costume, start slowly and watch for their reaction to make sure they are not annoyed or scared.
- Pick a comfortable costume that doesn’t cover their eyes, or anything that might tangle with their legs.
- Inspect the costume to make sure it doesn’t have loose and chewable parts, that they could choke on or be hazardous.
- Your dog can easily become anxious and frightened when the doorbell is constantly ringing and all he sees are children in strange clothes and masks. It is helpful to distract them with their favorite treat. We use raw organic coconut flakes as a treat and most dogs love it and it is good for them.
- When doors open and close, you don’t want the dogs to run off into the street. Make sure they have their collar on with your name and phone number. We recommend carrying your pup in a sling or hold them. To make sure, they are out of the way and calm. Louie de Coton made in Seattle pooch bag with calming made in USA soy-based foam can be helpful. It provides a safe protected area close to you. Also by using sling your hands are free.
- Keep all candy away from your pets. All forms of chocolate (especially baking or dark chocolate), raisins, candies with artificial sweetener such as xylitol can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. Xylitol ingestion can also cause liver failure in dogs, even if they don’t develop symptoms associated with low blood sugar.
- If you walk your dog around the neighborhood while children are trick-or-treating, be sure to use a sturdy collar, or harness and leash, and be careful around unfamiliar children and adults. Again, the costumes and masks may make your dog uncomfortable and frightened.
- Never leave your pets alone with Halloween decorations.
- Be aware of which decorations pose threats. Some hazards are obvious, like lit candles (fire hazards and toxic to birds if scented). Here's a partial list of other dangerous decorations: rubber eyeballs (choking risk), glow sticks and fake blood (possible poisons), fake cobwebs (can choke or entangle pets and wildlife), potpourri (toxic to birds) and strung lights.
- Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach. While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Coates adds that “some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause neurologic problems in dogs and cats.” So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets.
Please share your Halloween pet experience and suggestions with us.
Have a happy and safe Halloween.