How To Stay Safe on Halloween

Halloween is super fun for kids and their families. But for dogs, it can be a nightmare! Here are 9 tips to make sure your dog’s (and your!!) Halloween isn’t spooky:

1. Candy Is NOT For Pets.

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, and even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. 

2. Don't Leave Your Dog Out In The (Fenced) Yard On Halloween.

Visualize this: Children in scary/strange costumes. Walking, running, and yelling near your house. While your dog is loose in your yard. Enough said.

3. Keep Your Dog Confined And Away From The Door.

Not only will your doorbell be ringing, but your door will also be constantly opening and closing. Add to that the number of strangers dressed in unusual outfits and you can understand why it’s a place your dog should be far away from. To avoid potential fearful/aggressive reactions, put your dog in a secure room (in a crate 😇) away from the front door. This will also prevent him from potentially escaping to chase or run away from trick or treaters! 

4. Keep Halloween Decorations (Pumpkins, Corn, etc.) Out Of Reach.

Although they are relatively nontoxic, gastrointestinal upset can occur if your dog ingests them in large quantities.

In addition, if eaten, they can become intestinal obstructions, and may require surgery to remove them!

5. Want to light your Jack-O-Lantern? Use battery powered candles!

Real (lit!) candles are dangerous. Curious dogs may accidentally get too close, and not only could get burned, but they also could tip one over and cause a fire.

6. Keep Wires And Electric Light Cords Out Of Reach.

If chewed, your dog could receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

7. Don't Dress Your Dog In A Costume Unless You Know They'll Love It.

If you do decide that your dog needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It shouldn’t constrict movement, hearing, sight, or the ability to breathe (or bark!).  And have a few ‘dress rehearsals” a few weeks (or more) before the big event. If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas are a great alternative, too!

8. IDs, Please!

If your dog escapes the house and is lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they’ll be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date and that even if your dog is microchipped, he should still have a visible ID collar/tag!

9. The Day AFTER Halloween Is Dangerous, Too!

When you take your dog out for a walk, be on the lookout for candy on the ground. Sometimes it’s hard to see with all the leaves on the ground, so be extra alert in the coming days.  And it goes without saying that the focus of your walk should be your DOG, not cloud formations, texting, or listening to podcasts with your AirPods in!