Halloween is holiday that can be great fun for our trick-or-treaters but can be the source of stress for our pups. And, keeping our pets safe is important and actually quite easy if we keep their needs in mind. The ASPCA makes some simple recommendations for keeping them safe and happy.
Number 1 on their list is the candy:
Candy is for the human trick-or-treaters and can be toxic to our pets. "Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately." Candy wrappers are a threat as well, causing stomach upset and even deadly blockages.
Number 2 is the decorations
Keep decorations out of reach. While things like pumpkins, corn, glow sticks, etc. aren't big threats, they can cause severe stomach upset.
Number 3 is costumes
I love to dress my pups up for most holidays BUT I watch closely for any indications that they don't like the costume. We do not want to cause unnecessary stress. Costumes should never cause risk or infringe on eyesight, breathing, movement, or being able to express themselves with a bark or meow. Keep it simple. I use a headband or just a holiday scarf for one of my pups.
Number 3 is safety
I always make sure that I have an identification collar or tag on my pups before the visitors of Halloween arrive. I even have reflecting collars on them so they are more visible in the darkness. If they do escape, they can be returned to me more easily. One of my pups needs to be kept in a completely separate part of the house because the costumes are a bit too overwhelming. NO STRESS! NO WORRIES! Our pups depend on us to provide safety, security, and well being.
If your dog has any potential to jump up, nip, or bite, PLEASE secure him or her in another room. We must not only consider the safety of our visitors, but we don't want to encounter the slightest chance of losing our dog in a legal suit.
If you suspect that something is going to create an unsafe or stressful situation, please provide your wonderful and loving pet an alternative. Remember, too, that our deaf dogs need extra security!
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