Are Halloween safety tips for dogs really necessary? You bet. Each year, dogs run away when owners open the door for Halloween trick-or-treaters. Veterinarians see injuries related to consumption of chocolate or other Halloween candies. Dogs are startled by the amount of visitors to the house and may display signs of anxiety, shortness of breath, trembling or hyper-activity. Halloween safety tips for dogs prevent an unhappy disaster ensuing in the middle of your holiday festivities. To free up your mind and heart to enjoying your trick-or-treating, take the following Halloween safety steps in advance.
#1. Prepare Your Dog for Halloween
Make sure your dog’s id tag has your current telephone number. It’s okay to tighten your dog’s collar a little for the evening, in case he manages to run out at any point. Walk your dog before the trick-or-treating starts, to avoid all the excitement of strange people on the street. Halloween safety tips that make sure your dog is prepared for the worst eventuality will hopefully never need to be tested. But they could save your dog’s life if they are.
#2. Proof Your Home for Halloween
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Place a dog gate in the outer door frame of your front door, so that when the door is opened to trick-or-treaters, the lower half of the entryway will still be bared. In addition, if your dog is aggressive or nervous, find a quiet, pleasant place for your dog to spend Halloween evening, preferably with a family member. Turn soft music on in the room to drown out the noise from Trick-or-Treaters. When figuring out the best Halloween safety tips for your dog, try to imagine the evening from his perspective. The more aggressive or nervous your dog, the better it will be for him to see as little of Halloween as possible.
#3. Spend Halloween with Your Dog
Many dogs are friendly and will enjoy the excitement of Halloween and Trick-or-Treaters. Much will depend on your mood. If you are relaxed and happy, your dog is likely to feel the same way. Expect your dog to bark when people walk up to the house and don’t resort to yelling at him to be quiet, or this will create anxiety and increase the barking. Keep your dog on a leash as you open the door, if he is a strong dog that might jump over the safety fence you installed in the doorway. Halloween safety tips for opening the door on Halloween are similar to year-round safety rules, with the exception that your dog will be very excited from all the commotion of people in strange costumes coming and going.
#4. Avoid the Dangerous of Poisoning
Each year dogs are poisoned on Halloween by eating dangerous candy. Avoid letting your dog out into the yard unsupervised, as kids may have thrown candy over your fence. With open backyards this is even more vital. Explain to kids or people unfamiliar with dogs not to give your dog any candy, no matter how much he seems to want it. In addition to chocolate which dogs cannot digest and which can lead to death, hard candies can be a choke hazard, soft candies will stick to your dog’s teeth and gums may cause tooth decay or pain if your dog is already old and suffering from some tooth decay already. In general, the best Halloween safety tip for dogs on the subject of candy is to give your dog a delicious dog treat and not a human substitute.
#5. Halloween Decoration Safety Tips for Dogs
In addition to candy, Halloween decor can be dangerous to dogs. Do not place any flammable decorations like candies or Jack-O-Lanterns where your dog can reach them. Decorate the area outside your front door, beyond the safety gate, to make sure your dog can reach any decorations and chew on them. The same Halloween safety tip for dogs applies to costumes. Dogs will love to chew accessories or strange things that stick out of the costume like tails, shoe decorations, wings.
#6. How to Tell If Your Dog Ate Something Bad
You’ll be able to tell that something is wrong with your dog by his behavior. If you see any of the following symptoms, take your dog to an emergency pet hospital immediately, as these are signs of poisoning that may lead to your dog’s death:
– Tremor or seizure
– Drooling, foaming at the mouth, vomiting or diarrhea
– Rapid heartbeat (that is heartbeat which is faster than normal for your dog. Puppies, for example have a rapid heart rate naturally. Test your dog’s heart rate by placing your hand on his rib cage and count the beats with your watch).
– Pupil dilation.
Paw-rescue.org: Dog Tips: Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners