Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for everyone but it is important to keep a few important things in mind to ensure a safe experience for your pooch.
The most obvious risk to your dog is ingesting candy. Everyone knows chocolate and chemical sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be dangerous to your dog. In reality, chocolate poisoning occurs when a dog has a large quantity of chocolate, high quality dark or bakers chocolate. The stuff you find in a standard candy bowl in any amount can lead to gastrointestinal distress, so it’s best to play this one safe and keep your pet away from candy.
Another digestive concern to be aware of is all of the lovely carved pumpkins that may be around your home or neighborhood. While a small amount of pumpkin pulp can actually alleviate stomach problems, eating large amounts of the rind, especially if coated in bleach or Vaseline© to ward off decomposition, is not a good idea. If you like to decorate your porch or property with jack-o-lanterns, be sure your pet is kept at a supervised distance. The same goes for decorative gourds.
Strange neighborhood activity can also be worrisome for your dog. If you know your neighborhood often has pranksters out and about around Halloween or your neighbors like to have automated lawn decorations, be aware that your dog may not find such activities and items as charming as you do.
Halloween night is typically run by small children and teens in crazy outfits running door to door. This can be super stressful for your pup. Rather than one potential human intruder, your dog is now faced with dozens who in fact look more fearsome than a normal guest. The safest and most comfortable place for your pet is contained away from your door, specifically out of sight and with something fun to occupy their mind and time.
If you are thinking about bringing your pooch out trick or treating with you or having them at the door to greet screaming children, please be sure you have your pet’s best interest in mind. As fun as it is for people to see your dog, it may not be as fun for them which has Halloween to be one of the top five bite risk days of the year. More people get bitten by otherwise friendly dogs on Halloween than almost any other night of the year. There are plenty of great dog costumes out there, but it might be best to put one on for a good photo opportunity or daytime event and not necessarily for the intention of involving your pet in the evening festivities. Only dogs with extremely solid temperaments who are used to similar activities should even be considered.
Lastly, remember that accidents do happen, especially with frequent door openings, new sights and new sounds. Even if you don’t normally have a collar on your pet at home, this is a good time to keep a collar with identification tags on your dog just in case of an impromptu escape. Even if your pet has a microchip, collar tags are still the best way to get your pet back as quickly as possible.
Keeping these few tips and tricks in mind this Halloween should keep you and your pooch as safe and comfortable as possible.
Head Trainer- Perfect Pooch
BA, CPDT-KA, AKC CGC Evaluator