Years ago one of our 8 pound dogs gobbled down a Halloween sized package of M&Ms. We immediately called our veterinarian and began to watch her for any signs of illness. Fortunately, the night passed into the day and so too did the chocolate (pass that is).
That Halloween was for us a reminder about everything we need to do to keep our furry family members safe!
Here our 10 Tips for a safe and happy Halloween:
- Keep all candy out of your dog's reach! Treats can be toxic for your dog - especially if they contain chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum).
- Talk to kids about why dogs shouldn't have candy so they understand they are helping to keep their best friend safe by not sharing their treats.
- Select a Pet Safe Costume. If you're going to dress up your pup - take a few extra minutes to make sure the costume is sewn well and doesn't have any temptng "dangles" on it. Your dog can quickly chew off a piece of their costume that may create a blockage and a big bill for you if it don't pass safely through their system. Test the costume on them before the big day and make sure their eyes, nose, and mouth are not obstructed.
- Do a safety check! With people coming to the door a lot, it is easy to get distracted and an excited dog zip out the door. Make sure their tags are up to date and securely attached.
- Identify a Safe Space. If your dog is skittish of new sights, sounds, and activity it may be best to put them in a separate room for all of the doorbell ringing and treat dispensing. Some of those costumes are really scary - especially if you are a dog who doesn't understand the concept of "dress up". You don't want to risk an attack!
- Cat Safety. Unfortunately, black cats are at high risk for pranks during Halloween to the extent that some shelters won't let their black cats be adopted immediately before Halloween. To be on the safe side, keep them indoors!
- Indoors for the Night. A lot of pranks occur on Halloween and leading up to Halloween. Some of these pranks happen to dogs that are outside. Be sure to bring them in to keep them safe.
- Jack-o-lantern Safety. That carved pumpkin is very festive but that flickering light inside may be an invitation for a paw or nose to investigate and knock it over - causing a fire or burning your pet.
- Jewelry and glow sticks should be kept away from your pet. Don't risk your pup swallowing that decorative ring or chewing on that glow stick! While some glow sticks will only cause minor irritation others are mildly toxic. The chemicals used to make the glow change depending on the color of the glow stick.
- Keep the ASPCA Poison Hotline number handy 888-426-4435, just in case.