Trick or Treat? Keep Halloween fun and safe for your dog!

dog in grass skirt costume

Bunny in tropical costume

Trick or Treat?    Keep Halloween fun and safe for your dog!

With all the spooks, gremlins and superheroes coming to the door, it can be an exceedingly anxious time for your dog.  It can be very scary for them and they may feel a need to protect you from these strange little guests.  Or they may think the world has gone mad, and dash out the door in fright.  Here are just a few things you should do to make sure your dog is safe and comfortable during the witching hours….  

Make sure Halloween candy is out of reach! 
Chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats.  Also, candies made with the artificial sweetener Xylitol can cause problems for your pets.  And take care around the pumpkin too!  Aside from the flame of a Jack-o-Lantern, if ingested in large amounts, pumpkin can cause your dog to have stomach issues.  
Keep Jack-O-Lanterns, wires and cords away from Chewers.  
If chewed, your dog or cat could suffer cuts or burns, or receive a painful or fatal electrical shock.
Take Care Costuming your Canine.
If you decide to dress up your dog, make sure the costume doesn’t inhibit his movement, or impede his ability to breathe, or bark.  Be careful of dangling parts that could get caught or chewed. 
Not all pets like to get dressed up!
Some dogs have the patience of Job when it comes to dressing up for Halloween.  Others…not so much.  If your dog is uncomfortable or frantic in a Halloween costume, then you should not make him wear it.  Dogs under stress can be more likely to lash out in fear or anxiousness.  And that’s not a good idea on a night with lots of kids around.   Maybe try a nice scarf or bandana instead.  
Keep your dogs away from the door.
You may open your door 100 times in just a few hours to give out treats (or tricks?)   If you’ve got a dog who is known to bolt, you should keep him confined safely in another room.  But everyone should be careful…even dogs who normally wouldn’t run out the door may become overly anxious and growl at the costumed strangers, or dash out in fear. Better to be safe and keep your dog from getting lost. By putting your dog in a secure room away from the front door, it will lessen the chance of his running outside and getting lost.
Ask your dog to wear his ID tags on Halloween…and every day.
Make sure that your dog is wearing his proper identification on Halloween. If your dog takes to the streets, a collar, tag and/or microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you. 
And whatever you do, don’t forget the bowl of Milk Bones and water for the DOG trick-or-treaters… they, too, prefer treats!  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  

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