Halloween is the time of year to dress up as your favorite ghoul, Disney princess, vampire, or anything or anyone that your heart desires before going trick or treating! Very often, children take their (dressed up) dogs along too!
Unfortunately, this is not always the best way to go, as many dogs get lost or injured during the big ruckus surrounding Halloween. Seemingly, pets needing medical and other attention during this time skyrockets, and there are a number of reasons why.
Halloween is dangerous for dogs!
There are a number of things you need to keep in mind during Halloween if you want your best four-legged friend to survive it safely. Here you go with the top 10:
Chocolate is deadly
Any candy is bad for your dog. Chocolate, however, is toxic! Do not allow anyone to give him any, and make sure he is not able to reach any either.
This means ensuring all treats are out of dog’s reach. Also, the streets, during this time, have chocolates and candy lying all over the place. When going on a walk, make sure to look out for them and make sure your ‘Fido’ does not go near it. Accidents happen quickly.
Remember, the darker the chocolate the higher the cacao content. This means dark chocolate is even worse for you dog. It is great for humans, though!
Candy is full of sugar, which, if consumed in large amounts by dogs, leads to pancreatitis. It is excruciatingly painful and usually only presents itself a few days after your dog has gorged himself on sweet treats.
Signs you need to be on the lookout for, include a constant thirst, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures. Keep your eyes open!
Watch out for candy wrappers! They still smell like candy and your dog might just decide to gobble down a few. Also, if they get a few candies still wrapped, they will eat those too. They don’t have fingers to unwrap them. The end result might be you sitting in the veterinarian’s office with an ill, constipated or vomiting ‘Fido’! We do not think that is a good idea, do you?
Health conscious adults
Many health conscious people opt for giving healthy treats during Halloween. Amongst these are fruit like grapes, and of course, dried fruit like raisins.
But how can grapes or raisins be bad for a dog, you might ask? Well, grapes and raisins cause your dog’s kidneys to fail!
If you think your faithful friend has been subjected to a grape or raisin overdose, this is what you should do:
- Try getting him to vomit (he will probably do so anyway if he has eaten some).
- Get him to eat some activated charcoal as it decreases the absorption of the toxins responsible for kidney failure. If you have none, try burnt toast.
- Take him to a veterinarian as soon as you can.
If your dog is super-cool and chilled, dress him up by all means! BUT! Take care that his movement and vision are not impaired in any way. He needs to see where he is going and be comfortable while doing so!
Snaps and dangly bits might entice him to chew on them. Be wary of this. Those chewy bits are harmful to his health and could possibly land you with a visit to the doggy hospital.
For the not so fashion conscious dog
Not all dogs like dressing up. If your pooch hates it, do not force him to wear a costume. Dogs, much like humans, also get embarrassed. Try tying a bandana or some such around his neck. If used to wearing a collar, this should be fine.
The pumpkins, witches, and other grizzly spooks are providing the decorative touches. But what about the wiring and candles all over the place? Dogs like playing and any frisky behavior on their part could conceivably end up in injury. Imagine your dog caught up in those wires or knocking over a candle. The result does not paint a pretty picture. Plus, once again, veterinarian bills, or, possibly, a funeral.
When decorating, keep your best friend in mind. You do not want any harm to come to him.
For the not so adventurous
Not all dogs are cool, calm, and collected. Some are fearful little creatures (even the big ones) while others are just plain scaredy cats. For these dogs, Halloween is a time of terror and major angst. They hate the incessant ringing of the doorbell and all the people around. Keep them safe by allowing them the use of a quiet room, free from the goings on of the usual Halloween hustle and bustle.
Also, if going out trick or treating, leave them at home! An anxious dog is more likely to bite out of fear or pull loose of his lead and run off. This means endless hours looking for him, even in animal shelters. Of course, this does not apply to those ‘cool’ dogs that don’t mind the people, noise, dressing up, and of course, attention!
The doggy doo
Please, do take a ‘doggy doo’ bag along with you if taking your dog to go trick or treating. That’s not only for Halloween, though. If nature calls, please clean up after your puppy!
It’s not only for the kids
Remember, dogs are human too! Everyone has treats, where are his? Make sure to have some dog-friendly treats for your best pal at Halloween too!
The yard might be your dog’s best chill out spot but you should keep him away on Halloween – preferably for a few days before and after as well. Some people get up to mischief around this time and often steal pets for their own nefarious reasons. Do not allow your dog to become another statistic!
Of course, what is Halloween without a fireworks display? Both young and old look forward to it. Most dogs, however? Not as much, unless you have an ultra-chilled dog. Most people, however, do not.
Most dog owners need to take precautions about fireworks at Halloween. The main thing is keeping him calm with a safe place to stay for the duration. One could also try sensitization techniques or medication.
Once again, keep him confined for his own protection. Many dogs run away during this time because they are frightened.
Last minute checklist
Are the decorations up? Check
Is there enough candy to dish out? Check
Are the costumes done? Check
Are there enough doggy treats? Check
Is there a safe haven for the puppy? Check
So what are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy Halloween! But remember – do at all times keep safety first!
Before you go, have a look at this funny puppy Halloween video: