Boo! “Howl-oween” Safety Tips For Dogs
- Do not leave candy unattended for several reasons. Chocolate and candy with the artificial sweetener xylitol can be especially dangerous. Small hard candies can get lodged in a dog’s throat. Candy wrappers can cause bowel obstruction and have sharp edges that can scratch interior organs. Any food not regularly in your dog’s diet may cause an upset stomach.
- Be sure your dog is wearing a collar with ID in case he/she slips in the midst of all the door opening and closing.
- While trick-or-treaters are sure to think your dog is adorable, with or without costume, it may be best if your dog is secured away from the door area. In addition to activity around an open door creating an opportunity for your dog to escape, seeing the parade of costumes may stress or scare your dog. Even the friendliest dog can quickly become overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, scents, and stresses of the evening.
- Make sure pet costumes fit properly and are pet safe. Your dog should be able to move and breathe naturally in the costume. Small and dangling accessories may be a choking hazard.
- If your dog is outside, be sure he or she is wearing a reflective collar to be easily spotted by motorists.
- Consider the safety of your decorations. While pumpkins are not toxic to dogs, ingesting it in large quantities can cause stomach issues. Electric cords should be out of reach. Even a well-trained dog may resort to unusual behavior like chewing cords in a stressful situation. Watch candles carefully. They can be easily knocked over. Other decorations may also be harmful as they may contain toxic glues, lead to stomach discomfort, or blockage issues if ingested. It is best to keep all decorations safely out of reach.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of vigorous exercise each day but especially around holidays and special events. Exercise reduces stress and calms your dog. For most dogs, walks and time in the backyard are not enough. Most dogs need 30 minutes of sustained, vigorous activity a day (defined as getting the heart rate up and keeping it up). Sufficient exercise will give your dog a chance to get rid of excess energy which often leads to anxiety and destructive behavior.