Dr. Al Townshend, staff veterinarian for Old Mother Hubbard, developed the tips below.
Tips to keep your pet safe and happy this Halloween:
- Using flameless candles in pumpkins helps to avoid potentially harmful accidents.
- Make sure to keep all candy out of reach of a curious nose and have plenty of high-quality, natural treats, such as Old Mother Hubbard® Soft & Chewy Bitz® for dogs, on hand for your furry friend.
- Doorbell anxiety is common among dogs and can lead to barking and aggression which can ruin the night for you, your dog and any trick-or-treaters that come to the door. You can help your dog get used to the sound of the doorbell by doing some “practice runs” a few days before Halloween. Have someone stand outside and ring the doorbell, and if your dog barks, calm him or her in a soothing voice and consider offering a small treat as a reward. Repeat this exercise until your furry friend realizes the doorbell is a good thing, not something to be scared of.
- If you plan on dressing up your pet, make sure the costume does not interfere with his or her vision, hearing, breathing or walking. Costumes should be lightweight and not too tight. Also, loose or dangling accessories or details can present a choking hazard for your pet. Make sure to snip loose threads, beads or other hanging items before dressing your pet.
- If you are going outside (for a parade or trick-or-treating) make sure your pet is on a leash at all times.
- Although it may not match their costume, make sure your pet is wearing an ID or has a microchip. With the door opening and closing all evening, curious pets may try to sneak outside and join the festivities. Reflective leashes, collars or stickers on their costumes are also a great way to help keep pets safe.A few additional tips:
Leaving your dog outside unattended is a no no and keep your black cats inside, too. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, Halloween pranksters and vandals roam the streets looking for trouble and sometimes get carried away, so don’t take any chances and keep your pets inside with you where you know they are safe.
Chocolate is not the only sweet treat that poses a risk for dogs. Sugar-free candy contains a chemical called Xylitol that can make dogs severely ill even in small doses. Candy foil and wrappers can also be very harmful, as they can cause choking or a blockage in a dog’s digestive tract. If you have kids, let them know that the dog cannot share their Halloween treats.
Halloween decorations should be kept out of your dog’s reach. Dogs love shiny, small, noisy and/or other items that can cause serious health problems. And lights and cords can be bad news for your curious dog. A wagging tail can knock stuff made of glass over (including glass jars of treats). Keep sweet treats up high and out of reach.
Strangers in spooky masks and costumes can be very scary for your dog and cause unnecessary stress and fear. It’s probably best to keep your dog in a separate room. Try leaving a radio or TV or CD player on to drown out the sound of the visitors.
No beer, wine or other alcoholic drinks for Fido. Do not give any amount of alcohol to any animal. A drunk dog is no laughing matter. Alcohol is poison to dogs and can cause : vomiting, disorientation, seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and death. If you have a party make sure you clean up all of the leftover drinks, as some dogs are attracted to the sweetness of beer and wine.
If you are taking your dog to a Howloween party or event, make sure that they’ve got their good manners in paw. Introduce dogs slowly and carefully to one another to avoid conflict. And do not feed dogs treats together but separately to avoid any resource guarding behaviors.
Now, go look at these hysterically funny dogs in costumes, 25 of them, very creative…what is your dog going to be this year? you could also crochet an outfit with black and orange yarn and a few other items, how about a pirate dog, polka dot princess/diva, bumble bee and/or green ghost? Recycle, reuse, repurpose items and/or use eco friendly green materials.
Cool crochet costumes:
Hot Dog Crochet Coat: