Halloween is just around the corner! You’ve picked out your costume, filled a bowl with candy for trick or treaters, and carved the perfect pumpkin. But have you thought about the safety of your furry friend? There are a few potential dangers for dogs on Halloween, but with the right planning, you can prepare in advance so that both you and your dog will be safe and have fun. Here are six tips for dog safety on Halloween.
Keep Chocolate and Candy Away
It’s common knowledge that chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs and can be fatal. This is especially true of dark chocolate. Another common ingredient in many candies and sugar-free treats is xylitol, which can cause liver failure. Keep all chocolate and candy away from your dog, and instead offer treats especially for them, like our Salmon or Chicken formula dog treats!
Be Careful with Decorations
Jack-o-lanterns can be a fire hazard when lit. Curious pets can bump or knock over the pumpkin, potentially burning themselves or starting a fire. If you have a pumpkin with an open flame on your porch, keep your dog inside, or place your pumpkin on a table that they can’t reach.
Electric decorations with cords can also get in the way of dog safety on Halloween. Dogs may chew through wires, which can be very dangerous. Keep electric cords and other electric decorations out of reach.
Choosing the Right Costume
Pet costumes are a fun way to get your dog involved in the Halloween spirit! However, there are a few things to think about when choosing a costume for your furry friend. The most important thing is that your dog is comfortable in the costume and enjoys wearing it. Make sure your pet can move and breathe without interference and double check the costume for choking hazards your dog might chew off.
Introduce the costume slowly. Try it on a few times before Halloween, and if your dog seems distressed or uncomfortable, it might be a better idea to skip the costume.
Avoid masks, which can affect your dog’s vision or breathing, as well as dyes and paints, which may be toxic. Always read the label carefully, and exercise caution even if the dye is deemed pet friendly.
If you take your dog out trick-or-treating or on a walk, be alert for signs that they are tired or scared. Keep an eye on your pet so you can take them home or calm them down before they become spooked or potentially attempt to run away.
Also, use reflective tape on your dog’s costume, if they are wearing one, so they stand out in the dark. Attaching a light to their collar is also a good idea. Don’t let them out on the leash too far, so you can keep them close and pull them away from any particularly frightening costumes. Avoid leaving them in the car during trick-or-treating, as this will only distress them further if they are scared.
Use Identification Tags
Whether you are staying home or taking your pooch out, make sure they are always wearing identification. Dogs might be tempted to run through the frequently opened front door due to stress or fear, as they may be spooked by the large number of unfamiliar people coming to the door. Dogs may also be scared during walks, as there will be lots of trick-or-treaters out, and may also try to run.
Tags will allow your dog to be quickly identified and returned to you in case they do manage to run out the door or get away from you during a walk. If your dog is at home, consider keeping them in a separate room away from the front door. This will help to manage their stress and reduce their ability to bolt for the door.
As mentioned, the number of unfamiliar strangers on Halloween can make your pooch scared or anxious. Find ways of managing this stress in advance. Keep extra treats on hand, whether at home or on a walk. Have your dog’s favourite toy ready, and give them a comfortable space to retreat to, such as their bed or the couch.
While out on a walk, managing stress can be as simple as picking up a smaller dog when they become nervous or scared. Bigger dogs might be better served by calming touches and gentle words.
With these easy tips for dog safety on Halloween, both you and your pet can enjoy the spooky day! Remember to keep a close eye on your dog, so you can monitor their comfort levels and notice signs that they are stressed or scared. Looking for a safe treat for your pooch for Halloween? Try these FirstMate Chicken Biscuits!