Lots of dogs owners look forward to Halloween. Some of them even dress up their pets in Halloween costumes so they can go trick-or-treating or enjoy a doggy costume party. Perhaps you can have a party for some of your dog’s friends in your home, or there’s a party at your local pet store. But Halloween can also pose risks for pets. Here are some safety tips so you can keep your dog safe this Halloween.
1. Keep the chocolate away from your dog! You probably already know that chocolate is bad for your dog, but in case you don’t, chocolate can be toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it can be for your dog. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which is related to caffeine. It acts as a mild stimulant for humans but it can be very harmful to dogs, causing increased heart rate, trembling, seizures, and, if your dog eats enough of it, it can even lead to death.
Dark chocolate contains about 390 mg of theobromine per ounce; semisweet chocolate has about 150 mg per ounce; and milk chocolate contains about 44 mg per ounce. A fatal dose can occur if your dog eats between 50 and 100 mg of theobromine per pound of body weight. Cats are even more sensitive. So keep the chocolate candy away from your pet!
2. Keep All Halloween Treats Away from Your Dog. Other Halloween treats can be hazardous to your dog, too. Raisins and grapes, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, and candy foil wraps can all be toxic to dogs. Diet treats which contain the substance xylitol, found in sugar-free candy, gum, and cookies, can also be deadly. Don’t leave candy and treats out for your dog to eat even if they don’t contain chocolate.
3. Be Careful with Jack O’Lanterns and Candles. If you plan to have Jack O’Lanterns or candles with real flames for Halloween, keep them well away from areas where your dog will be. Dogs may see the pumpkins as potential food and they can easily knock over pumpkins and candles, starting a fire in your home. If possible, use battery-operated lights instead of candles.
4. Be Careful with Decorations. Be careful with decorations if you plan to decorate your home for Halloween. Artificial spider webs are not the best thing for your dog to eat. If you use polyurethane glue to put up decorations, dogs are inclined to eat the glue which can be dangerous once in their intestines.
5. Use Care with Halloween Costumes. It’s great fun to put your dog in a Halloween Costume but dogs don’t always enjoy them. Your dog may try to pull his costume off and become entangled in it. If he tries to chew pieces of it off he could end up choking on it. Always supervise your dog when he’s wearing the costume and remove it when the fun is over.
6. Beware Mischief Makers. Halloween can bring out the worst in some people so do be careful with your pets around Halloween. Make sure your gates are securely locked and keep your pets indoors when you can’t supervise them outdoors. Pets can be stolen at Halloween or go missing so exercise caution.
The suggestions here should help you keep your dog safe this Halloween. Watch what your dog eats; keep him away from decorations that could be dangerous; and supervise him when he’s wearing a costumer or going outside during the Halloween season. Keep these tips in mind and you should keep the dog goblins away!