That’s my hope anyway. Holidays always present dangers for dogs but it seems to me like Halloween is the worst one for animals. But with the right precautions, this Halloween dogs will stay safe.
The tips from our last article on keeping dogs safe on Fourth of July still stand – make sure your big dog has ID, has a safe place to hide out and doesn’t get alcohol or foods that are poisonous to dogs, to name a few. The North Shore Animal League America has a few other tips to keep dogs safe on Halloween:
• Keep candy, wrappers, and decorations out of your dogs’ reach. As some of you have shared, dogs will not just eat candy – they’ll eat the wrappers, boxes and all! Plus, chocolates aren’t the only danger to dogs in a good Halloween haul; xylitol, a common candy sweetener, is also poisonous to dogs. Best to keep the temptation (and danger) out of their reach.
• Keep decorations and lit pumpkins out of their reach too. Some dogs may react to decorations’ unusual lights and sounds and others treat the power cords as dog toys. With pumpkins, one jump or swipe of a strong tail can send that flame flying. Bad news, especially if you’re not home at the time to handle the situation.
• Don’t dress up your dog unless you know they like it. The costume could become just one more thing to chew on. If you do costume your pet, make sure it doesn’t interfere with their ability to see, breathe or bark.
• Don’t take your dog trick or treating. The costumes, people, sights, sounds and smells can make your dog nervous and lead to unpredictable behavior. Better to leave them at home where they can be safe and calm.
• Keep your big dog indoors. There’s the occasional story of animals being the innocent victims of a Halloween “trick.” Keep your dog indoors and out of reach of these tricksters.
But when we’re having fun, we want our dogs to be part of that. So here are 3 of my tips for safely including your big dog in the fun this weekend:
• Buy dog treats especially for him/her. I don’t know about your dogs, but mine always carries off her precious treat to enjoy it alone. That means she is away and distracted – the perfect time to sort through candy.
• Carve a doggy pumpkin. The Better Homes & Gardens site (bhg.com) has stencils of 25 different breeds to carve. I picked a Rottweiler, shown above, since no stencil looked like my dog. Some stencils are more complicated than others, but they all look pretty good.
• Treat your dog to a long walk earlier in the day. Your big dog will enjoy the exercise, crisp fall air and time with you. You’ll have a tired dog when the doorbell starts ringing every 2 minutes, and a tired dog is less likely to be stressed by and bark at every visitor. It’s a win-win.
Halloween can be a lot of fun – and with these tips you’ll avoid a dog emergency in the middle of it all.
What tips do you have? How will you make Halloween dog-safe this year? Head to the PawPosse.com Facebook fan page and let us know!
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