6 Halloween Safety Tips for Dog Owners
Oct 06, 2018 | Sophie's Circle
Halloween is a fun-filled night for adults and children alike. With a little bit of extra effort, you can ensure that your pet has a good time, too. Your dog can even wear a costume if you like, but there are some things to be aware of to keep them safe. For example, you must prevent escapes, keep candy out of reach, and hide the pumpkins. Now is also a good time to make sure their ID tag is up to date.
On Halloween, your front door will open many times for enthusiastic trick-or-treaters. Your dogs and cats can use that as an opportunity to dash out and explore the neighborhood. While that may not be a concern on other days, Halloween isn’t the safest time to be out on the street even if you live in a safe neighborhood. Between the unusually high foot traffic and cars driving in and out, your pet can easily get scared or run over. It’s best to keep them safely locked in a bedroom until trick or treat is over.
Don’t Forget Collar & ID Tag
If you want to go for a walk or take your dog trick-or-treating with you, it’s important to make sure they’re wearing a collar with an up-to-date ID tag. If your dog manages to get loose, the person who finds him will be able to contact you right away. If your pet is micro-chipped, that’s even better. Just make sure that your address is up to date with the company that tracks the microchip information.
Buy the Right Costumes
Dressing up in costume is one of the most exciting things about Halloween. Many pet owners even get matching outfits for themselves and their dog. Of course, it’s important to buy the right costume for your pet. The outfit should fit properly without loose ends. If you notice that your dog’s movement, eyesight, or hearing is impaired, it’s not a good costume.
It’s important to stay with your dog while they’re wearing the costume. You never know what they might do with it, and if something goes wrong, you want to stand ready to help.
Finally, you shouldn’t wait until October 31 to try the costume on your pup. It will likely take them some time to get used to it. You can start slowly by having them wear it for a minute or two while praising them and giving them treats. If your dog absolutely hates the costume, it might be best to just opt for a bandanna instead.
Keep Candy Out of Reach
Halloween candy will be everywhere, especially if you’re handing it out at the door. And while it’s nice to share, you can’t give your pet any of it. Chocolate and other candies will make them sick. If you must treat your pet, buy something appropriate at the pet store for them and give it to them on Halloween night. In addition to keeping candy out of reach, you should also be careful about wrappers. Your pet might go after them because they still smell good.
Keep Your Pet Inside
We already talked about the importance of preventing your pet from bolting out the door by keeping them in a locked bedroom. If your dog has a kennel or fenced in yard outdoors, you may be tempted to just let them stay there. Unfortunately, on Halloween night, your pet isn’t safe outside.
With the large number of trick-or-treaters roaming the neighborhood, your pet may be handed toxic candy – although most kids are just innocently sharing it with a cute dog. Your pets may also find wrappers and other garbage. Lastly, some people play cruel tricks on pets around Halloween, especially black cats. This abominable behavior is best prevented by keeping your pet safe inside with you.
Hide the Pumpkins
If you love Halloween, you probably enthusiastically decorate your home and yard with pumpkins, or ghosts and goblins. Real pumpkins are wonderful decorations, but they can do a lot of damage to your pet’s stomach if eaten. In addition to gastrointestinal upsets, moldy pumpkins can include toxins that lead to neurological problems.
Lit pumpkins and other electrical decorations can also get your pet in trouble. If you’re stringing extension cords along your front yard to light up the street, it’s best to prevent your pet from accessing it. Obviously, you need to use the same precautions when you switch out your Halloween decorations for Christmas lights.