Halloween and Your Dog

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With Halloween approaching, you have to stop and think about the safety of your pets. There are many things to consider regarding the safety of your dog(s) concerning candy, decorations, dog costumes, and trick-or-treaters.

Decorations: Something new in the house means that your dog is going to investigate it. Is your dog a chewer? If so are there any loose items on the decorations, like buttons or button eyes on a scarecrow? Toxic chemicals used in the dyes on the clothing are also a hazard. Can your dog reach a candle (especially if it is lit) and knock it over? An unlit candle can also be a hazard as these are often scented and might be perceived as a new chew toy.

Candy: Not only is candy, especially chocolate, not good for your dog, the wrappers, frequently discarded on a table or floor, are so strongly scented that your dog might mistake it for food. Candy and candy wrappers are a big problem throughout the entire holiday season.

Dried corn: Corn cobs are very dangerous to dogs as the cob, when swallowed, does not break down easily in the digestive track and could lead to a very expensive operation to clear it.

Jack o’ Lanterns: When lit with a candle, these can easily be knocked into and roll over causing a fire hazard.

When kids come trick-or-treating, your dog will probably react to the door knocks or doorbell. Upon opening the door, your pooch might try either run out through the door, or try and protect you and your property by lunging, snarling, and even biting a trick-or-treaters which could result in a big lawsuit.

Instead of taking your dog along as you accompany your child(ren), you should consider leaving your dog at home. There are so many new and different stimuli on Halloween with the crowded sidewalks, the new noises, and the many trick-or-treaters, and all of this might cause your dog a lot of stress and it could lash out at the children.

If your dog is wearing a costume, does it fit properly? Can it get its foot or nail caught and cause injury or panic which could result in running loose and getting it caught on a fence causing serious injury? Is it weather-proof? Can it snag its nails on loose weaves in the material? Finally, is it necessary to make your dog wear it?

It’s a good idea to leave the dog(s) in a quiet room with a bowl of water and a few toys. Some quiet music could also help calm your pet.

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