Ten ways to a safer Halloween for you and your pet.
Did you know that lost-dog calls increase by 12% during the week of Halloween?* That’s right.
Veterinarians also report a rise in pet injuries during Halloween, most of which are completely preventable.** So what’s an unnerved pet lover to do? Try our 9 safety tips to make Halloween more enjoyable for you, your pooch and your guests.
- Try out any dog costumes in advance and do your best to keep it simple. Costumes can be fun. But flexibility is key as a frustrated dog may turn into a badly behaved dog and you don’t want that happening with visitors in or around your home. If Hugo feels uncomfortable, try a loosely-tied bandana or a simple costume that allows your pet to move about freely. Make sure he can see well and that the outfit poses no health hazards, such as buttons or wires that may cause trips or falls. And be sure to check that your furry friend is able to do his “outside business” without any issues.
- Exercise Fifi before festivities commence. It’s been said that a tired pooch is more likely to be a well-behaved pooch, so walk or play with your fur buddy at least a half hour before trick or treaters are due to show up.
- Dogs are den animals. Most dogs have a special place. This can be a crate, behind a gate in another room, or even the feel of a leash as you greet little ghouls and goblins. Give them some comforting toys to occupy their time and keep their mind off the new event. If being around all the trick or treat activity is stressful, put them in a comfortable place until things quiet down.
- Keep decorations out of reach. Candles and decorations with wires and cords can cause issues! A quick brush of the tail may cause trouble. Cords and wires can be chewed. Keep them all out of the way of your 4-legged friend.
- Dog treats ONLY- no candy. By now, most pet owners know that chocolate and a candy sweetener called Xylitol (found in gums, mints, etc.) do not agree with dogs’ digestive systems. Best to stick to wholesome dog treats if you want to reward Rover. Apple seeds, grapes and certain nuts found in candy also join the list of foods dogs should avoid. Packaging can also be troublesome, as ingesting lollipops sticks, plastic and string may require a trip to the veterinarian. Keep all Halloween treats and packaging safely tucked away! If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian or Poison Control Center right away: excessive drooling or urination, choking, dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Watch out for those fall plants. Some of the plants we decorate with in the fall can pose digestive problems (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea) for our fur babies. While not poisonous, pumpkin and corn decorations may tax your pup’s belly.
- Display proper ID. Just in case your dog gets spooked or makes off with the kiddies, be sure he is wearing updated identification tags or is microchipped.
- Feed them first. A satisfying dinner (like Bil-Jac Dog Food) will fill up your pup’s belly so he’s less likely to beg or grab for candy. It will also keep him calm in the face of both heroes and villains that show up to the door.
- The day after. Be careful when walking your pet that he doesn’t pick up lost candy or discarded wrappers or toys on the road. Also, check his paw pads upon returning home to make sure nothing is stuck to them.
Following these proven tips promises to make Halloween a fun, safe holiday for your entire household and all your little guests.
What are some of the ways you make Halloween safer for your pet? Share your ideas here!