Whether your pet is dressed in costume to greet Trick-or-treaters or resting in a crate away from the excitement, here are five safety tips to keep your dog healthy and happy this Halloween.
Tip 1: Keep all People Treats Out of Pooch Reach
Our canine friends should not each the chocolate and treats Trick-or-treaters love. Chocolate is poisonous to pets and can cause cardiac arrest and other health problems. Make sure to set all bowls of goodies out of canine reach. Instead, treat your pet with dog-approved treats. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Tip 2: Listen to Your Pet on Costume Preference
Giant pumpkin outfits and Star Wars costumes are cute, but they may cause your four-legged friends unnecessary stress. Before dressing your pet up for the holiday, let them try on the costume. If they don’t like it, respect their preference. Instead of wearing a full costume, opt for a Halloween-themed collar or leash.
Tip 3: Don’t Use Children Costumes for Dogs
Human costumes are meant for humans and not dogs and come with choking and strangulation hazards that pet-specific costumes don't. When using a dog-specific costume, keep an eye out for loose strings, fabric, or lace that could be chewed on. Also watch for parts of the costume that could become snagged or grabbed by other pets. It’s best to never leave your pet unattended while they are in a costume.
Tip 4: Decorate With Safety in Mind
When decorating for the festivities, keep your pet’s safety in mind. Fall plants, like pumpkins and decorative corn, are non-toxic; however, they can cause stomach pain if eaten. Also beware of electronic decorations. Dogs who chew can electrocute themselves on the wiring, which is deadly for smaller dogs. One way to protect your pet from electronic decorations is to tack the cords against the wall or under the carpet.
Tip 5: Create a Safe Space for Your Pet
Human costumes can scare pets. They don’t understand the festivities and can become alarmed by unusual and bulky costumes. To keep your pet safe and calm, settle them in a room away from the front door and Trick-or-treaters. Also consider toning down your own costume.
Article written by Melissa Wheeler, a writer and pet enthusiast. Melissa has a 10-year-old Whippet, named Leo, who loves to run, sneak food, and cuddle with his family.