Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween – 7 Tips For Owners

October 28th, 2008 by Dan

With only a few days until Halloween, I wanted to make sure that everyone is prepared to have a safe holiday this fall. These tips should help you and your dog have a very spooky (and safe) Halloween this year!

Preparing For Halloween Night:

It’s a good idea to walk your dog before Trick or Treaters are out. That way he can have a normal stroll without all the confusion that is going to go on later in the evening. The “witching” hours are few, so he should be able to hold it until they have all gone to bed and then you can head out for another peaceful jaunt. Just make sure he doesn’t pick up any stray candy off the ground.

Photo by anne makaske

No Chocolate:
Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs. However, with Halloween being such a popular holiday with children, you have to make sure that kids don’t try and slip their canine buddies some chocolate goodies out of their bags. Educate children that chocolate can be dangerous to pets and provide treats for them to give to dogs instead. While it takes about 50 oz of milk chocolate to induce a toxic reaction in a 50 lb dog, much smaller amounts can cause gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. Keep the candy bags OUT of reach!

Photo by gina64

No Raisins:
While some people try and give out raisins as a healthy treat to trick or treaters, these are actually equally as hazardous to your pooch. While scientists don’t know exactly what causes the toxicity, even a mere 7 raisins can be toxic, according to the ASPCA poision control center. Raisin toxicity causes acute renal failure meaning a dogs kidneys cannot function properly. This condition can be fatal. Take the same precautionary steps as you would with chocolate – explain to kids that some foods can be dangerous to their dogs and offer alternative treats they can feed.

Take Care at the Door:
The repeated ringing of the doorbell can cause a great deal of stress in some dogs, not to mention then being greeted by small children – in strange costumes- screaming in high pitched voices! If you have a dog that is not incredibly laid back, do him a favor and put him away from the chaos of the door. Turn on the television and try and distract him with a favorite toy or a stuffed kong. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a good time to socialize your new puppy with small children – it is entirely too overwhelming of an experience and can do more harm than good. A frightened dog can easily bolt out the door when it is opened repeatedly. I suggest, at the least, keeping your dog behind a baby gate so he can’t dash towards the front door. Please take care to keep your dog comfortable and secure.


Costume Craziness:

Costumes are confusing to dogs. They may react fearfully, quizzically or even display aggression to people in costumes – even people they have met before. Your dog has no idea it is Halloween and doesn’t understand the concept of a costume.

Jack-O-Lanterns:
If you’re using real candles in your Jack-O-Lanterns, make sure your dog can’t go anywhere near them without you watching! They are a fire hazard to his coat and whiskers and he could easily be burned. Your curious canine could also knock over the pumpkin, causing a blaze.

Photo by dustjelly


Canines In Costumes:

If you plan on dressing your dog up for the holiday, make sure you never leave him unsupervised while he is wearing his outfit. He could easily chew off pieces and consume them or get a limb stuck in a tie or elastic, causing injury.

Happy Howl-o-Ween!





One Response to “Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween – 7 Tips For Owners”

  1. Big Dog Clothing Says:

    I have to agree with the advice over costumes. You should also ensure that any costumes are fire proof as well.

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