Halloween Safety for Dogs 101

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    Photo Credit: SVETIKD

    Halloween is right around the corner. We are all getting prepared for the big day, fitting our pets for costumes, finding pet-friendly events to take them too and more. But do you know about Halloween safety and ensuring your dog is safe on Halloween? Here are some Halloween safety tips for your pup:

    Keep Treats Away (and Offer Alternatives)

    Photo Credit: Ruffle Snuffle

    The majority of treats and candy that are given out on Halloween are toxic to dogs. It may be tempting to count out all the collected candy on the floor post-trick or treating or to leave the bowl of candy right next to the front door, but these are easy access points for pups. Some common Halloween treats that are toxic to dogs include:

    • ​​Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
    • Raisins and chocolate-covered raisins
    • Candy corn
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Sugar-free candy (they use a toxic substitute called xylitol)
    • Caramel apples

    If you want your dog to be able to partake in the festivities, you can make them their own Halloween treats

    Be Aware of Decoration Dangers

    Many decorations pose a threat to dogs as well as your home. For example, a dog can easily knock over a jack-o-lantern with a candle inside. Certain Halloween plant decorations are relatively nontoxic to dogs including decorative corn but they may cause stomach discomfort if nibbled on. Some other dangerous include:

    • Rubber eyeballs (choking hazard)
    • Fake blood and glowsticks (possibly poisonous)
    • Fake cobwebs (choking hazard and they can be twisted up in them)
    • String lights (strangulation) 

    Block the Front Door and Keep Them Calm

    Constantly opening the door for trick or treaters are constant opportunities for your dogs to dart. Keep the dogs behind a dog gate or put them in a bedroom when someone comes up to your door. On top of that, dogs may be spooked by the dressed-up children and not react so friendly. If people coming to the door may stress your dog out, you may want to give them some CBD before or talk to your vet about anxiety medication.

    Be Careful With Costumes

    Photo Credit: @2husketeers

    Wearing a costume can cause undue stress in pets. Just because they look adorable does not mean that you should do it. If your pet is showing signs of being in distress or any abnormal behavior while in a costume, opt for a festive bandana or their birthday suit instead.

    For pets who will wear a costume, make sure they can move freely and it does not restrict their movement, sight, ability to bark or breath. Inspect the costume for any possible choking hazards like small, dangling bits and remove them. You should also not leave the costume on when the pet is unattended. This may result in strangulation as they can easily become twisted up in them.

    Light Them Up

    If you are taking your dogs out on Halloween night, make sure they are easily spotted. You can get them a light-up collar, light-up leash, or light to attach to their collar. It may be tempting to run across the street to the next house with everyone else but drivers are often distracted Halloween night and may not see your pup being dragged behind you.

    Bring Them Inside

    Pets absolutely should  not be left unattended outside on Halloween night. Unfortunately, pets have been the victims of Halloween tricksters and pranks that have resulted in pets being injured, stolen, or even killed.

    Prepare for the Worst

    It is always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure your pets’ tags are up to date as well as their microchip. If your pet has a microchip and it hasn’t been registered, you can register for free with Found Animals. If they do happen to escape, this increases their chances of being reunited with you. Also, keep the number for poison control readily available in case they happen to ingest some of the treats.

    ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline: (888) 426-4435.

    Halloween is a holiday that most of us love and we love to have our pets involved. But, it’s a holiday that offers numerous dangers that we might not think about. Do you have any helpful Halloween safety tips? Let us know in the comments! 

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