Your Dog and Halloween Safety
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; there's candy and fun costumes and decorations. I do make sure my dogs are safe and happy during the holidays though. There's many dangers to your pup around the holidays. Everyone knows that chocolate isn't safe for dogs, but have you considered the other dangers? Strangers coming to the door? Large and intimidating Halloween decorations? These all provide some level of threat or stress to your pup, so make sure they're safe this Halloween.
Candy and Your Dog
It is widely known that chocolate can be fatal for dogs, so make sure they don't get any this Halloween. Dogs are highly sensitive to caffeine and threobromine, both of which are found in chocolate. Different amounts of chocolate affect different sized dogs; in large dogs, the same small bite of chocolate that would kill a small dog may only cause some nausea. You can Google search for charts explaining this break down. Your best bet is to:
- Keep your candy bowl out of their reach.
- Keep your extra candy hidden away in a cabinet or other safe place.
If they do get a taste of any chocolate, take action quickly. If you catch them right away, use a turkey baster, or similar dispensing tool, to give your pup hydrogen peroxide. This will cause them to vomit almost immediately, eliminating the chocolate from their system.
If you don't catch them right away, take them to your local emergency clinic. They will need to be treated, otherwise the chocolate could kill them. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, seizures, coma, or death.
Finally, when I was a kid, it was common practice to dump all of my Halloween candy on the floor and trade the pieces I didn't like with my siblings. This obviously provides for a easy snatch and dangerous situation for your pup, so either don't let your kids make this trade on the ground or easily accessible area, or keep your dog in a separate room until the trading is complete. On that same note, make sure your kids are aware that the dog cannot have chocolate.
Has your dog ever gotten ahold of chocolate?
The Doorbell and Your Dog
The doorbell is going to ring a hundred times Halloween night. If your dog doesn't care about the doorbell or knocking, then proceed to the next topic! If they get excited or aggressive when someone comes to the door, your best bet is to isolate them into a separate room or crate them. This will keep your pup from running around the house, possibly hurting themself, and scaring trick-or-treaters.
If you are currently training your dog to be okay with the doorbell/knocking, this is an opportune time to practice!
I, personally, am okay with my dogs barking at the doorbell and knocking. The way I see it, if they aren't okay with strangers coming over without me letting them in myself, then robbers less likely to come into a home full of barking pups.
Some dogs like to bolt out open doors. This is another issue to take into consideration. Again, if you're training your pup to not bolt out the door, this is an opportune time to practice! Read my article for further training instructions.
Some Halloween decorations are scary for more than just kids. Large or moving decorations can be quite intimidating for some dogs, and it's important to make sure they feel safe during this spooky day (and any surrounding day when the decorations are up).
If your dog is scared of the decorations, consider giving them a space or room of their own where they won't see these decorations. Some might think they should expose their pup to the decorations and "get them used to it", but doing so may just stress your pet out more, which can be dangerous the day of Halloween when children are coming to the door all dressed up,
It's important to consider the health, both physical and emotional, of your pets around the holidays. Be prepared, keep chocolate hidden and your pup in a safe and happy environment. Your dog is a part of your family, so be safe this Halloween by protecting yourself and your pup.