Halloween Tips for Your Pets

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Halloween is only a few weeks away. While the kids are searching for the perfect costume to acquire the most candy possible, you may be considering how to incorporate your four-legged family member into the festivities, too. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your pup have a wonderful Halloween!

Halloween candy is for humans only

When I was a kid, the best trick or treating spot was a certain house down the street because they gave out full-size candy bars! As you might know, chocolate is toxic for dogs. Dark chocolate is especially bad. So make sure your kids know not to share any candy with the dog or leave their trick-or-treat bag where the dog can help themselves. The symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Candies can also contain xylitol (an artificial sweetener) which is toxic. This doesn’t mean you have to leave the pup out of all the fun, just pick up some dog treats at the store ahead of time so they can have their own bag of goodies, too!

Watch the Halloween decorations when the pets are around

Everyone loves to light their jack-o’-lantern on Halloween night, but this could be a fire hazard with pets around. Curious pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire or catch their fur on fire. Pumpkins and Indian corn are non-toxic if the dog or cat decides to take a nibble, but they will cause an upset stomach.

Keep your pets away from the door

When kids knock on your door asking for candy, you don’t want one of your beloved pets to dart out the open door. Also, all of the kids dressed in costumes screaming “Trick or Treat!” could be very scary for some dogs and cause them to become territorial and growl at trick-or-treaters.

Not every pet wants to wear a costume

All of us want to take that cute photo of Fido as a hotdog, fairy princess, or even a superhero to post on our social media accounts. Unfortunately, this may really stress out our pets if they aren’t used to wearing clothes. When choosing a costume, ask yourself if your pet will tolerate it, and if they would enjoy wearing it. If the answer is yes, then make sure the costume does not limit their ability to move, breathe, see or bark. Also, look carefully at the outfit to make sure there isn’t anything that can break off or be chewed off such as a button that could cause them to be injured.

Don’t take your dog trick-or-treating

It is best to leave your pup at home while you and your family make the rounds gathering candy. Your dog may become scared at all the strange costumes and break free of their leash or dart out in traffic. Some dogs may even get protective of your family and bite another trick-or-treater.

By following these tips, I hope you can have a wonderful Halloween with your whole family – even the four-legged ones!

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