Halloween Safety Tips + Tricks for Dogs
Photo by: @2Husketeers
Halloween is an incredibly fun time of the year for children and adults alike, but what about for your pet? Many common Halloween traditions consist of costumed visitors continually knocking at the door, loud noises and unusual activities, which can be stressful and confusing for dogs. Dangers lurk everywhere during the spooky day, too — opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters creates opportunities for your pet to escape and unattended candy can prompt health concerns.
Exercising caution on Halloween is crucial for ensuring your pup’s safety. Here are some tips and tricks that can help to alleviate your pet’s anxiety and keep it out of harm’s way.
Choose Pet Costumes Wisely
If you decide that your beloved furry friend needs a costume, make sure it doesn’t cause discomfort and isn’t dangerous. Costumes shouldn’t restrict breathing, movement, hearing or eyesight. Be wary of masks and hats that fit around the face — these props shouldn’t be worn for extended periods of time. Additionally, remove any chewable parts that could become a potential choking hazard. Pets wearing a costume should be supervised at all times. If your dog won’t tolerate a fun get-up, a festive bandana may be a better alternative. If you need any costume inspiration, check out our 14 instagram pups ready for trick or treating post.
Traditional Halloween decorations can be hazardous to pets, such as lit candles or pumpkins. Dogs can knock over these objects, which can result in hot wax spilling on furniture or the possibility of a fire. Any seasonal item that emits a flame should be kept far away from canines. Be mindful of battery-powered or electric Halloween décor, especially if your hound is prone to chewing. Gnawing on wiring can result in electrocution, which can be deadly for dogs, particularly smaller breeds. Watch out for these other potentially dangerous decorations and objects:
- Glow sticks
- Fake blood and spider webs
- Candy wrappers
Prevent Door Dashing
Keeping your pet in a separate room or on a leash during trick-or-treat hours can help prevent it from unexpectedly darting out the door. You don’t want a lost pup on Halloween! Make sure your pooch is wearing updated identification tags in case, as it can increase the chance of your fur kid being returned.
Stash the Goodies in a Safe Spot
Many Halloween candies and chocolate contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be toxic — even lethal — for dogs. Mind the candy bowl and make sure these tempting goodies stay out of reach. The smallest amount of xylitol in a dog’s system can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, subsequent loss of coordination or liver failure. If your pet ingests chocolate or other candies, keep a lookout for these symptoms of distress:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
Your tail-wagging friend can still enjoy Halloween treats; just make sure they are dog-friendly!
Keep Your Pet Inside
There may be no safer place for your dog than inside your home — away from costumed strangers and pranksters who roam outside on Halloween. Keeping your dog in the cozy confines of your home can protect it from being frightened, teased, injured or stolen.
Create a Space for Fearful Dogs
If your dog is skittish by nature, consider creating a safe, quiet room that’s far away from the commotion of Halloween. Set up your pet’s bed with a blanket and its favorite toys to make it more comfortable. Turn on the TV, radio or a white-noise machine to muffle the sounds of footsteps, voices and the ringing doorbell.
It’s imperative to keep your dog in mind as you prepare for Halloween. By following this handy checklist of safety tips, you can help calm your pet’s nerves and ensure that it enjoys a fun and safe holiday.
Author bio: Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.