With thoughts of pumpkin carving, trick or treating and a sprinkle of spookiness, Halloween will soon be upon us. Although great fun for most, it is often not so popular with our four-legged family members. Following a few Halloween pet safety tips can help make the event a bit less stressful for all concerned.
Top Halloween pet safety tips
Halloween canine costumes
You might think dogs in Halloween costumes look super-cute. While this might be true, most dogs don’t really enjoy dressing up. So even if you are a sewing superstar, it’s probably best to give the homemade dog Halloween costume a miss! Of course you know your pooch best, and if they feel the cold, a doggy jumper may be just the job.
Signs that fancy dress is not your doggo’s thing, include:
- Calming signals such as lip-licking or yawning
- Tail tucked between back legs
- Ears back
Pumpkins and pooches
Pumpkin carving is a great activity that is very much part of Halloween. Be sure to keep knives or other sharp carving tools well out the reach of pets. And once the masterpiece is complete, why not use LED candles instead of real ones?
Trick or treating
If trick or treating is your thing, it may be best to leave your pooch at home, especially if they are of a nervous disposition. Closing curtains and turning on the radio or television to block out some of the unusual sights and sounds of October 31st can help make pets feel more secure.
If you are at home when trick or treaters call, make sure your pets are safe before you open the door – the last thing you want is a spooked pet making a bid for freedom. You could even leave treats outside with a ‘help-yourself’ sign, to avoid frequent doorbell interruptions.
Now is also a good time to make sure microchips are up to date with the correct contact details, so if the worst happens and your beloved pet escapes, there is a high chance that they will be safely returned to you.
Daytime dog walking
Walking your dog before darkness falls means you will be home before things get spooky. It will also help to burn off some excess energy – much easier to keep a tired pooch calm than one who is bouncing off the walls and full of beans!
Keeping Halloween treats out of reach of inquisitive noses is an absolute must, especially if they are of the chocolate variety…..
What do I do if my dog ate chocolate?
This sweet treat is toxic to dogs and chocolate poisoning in dogs is a definite risk around Halloween. So you may ask, ‘What to do if my dog eats chocolate?’ The simple answer is to call your vet for advice.
Chocolate contains something called theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts, with dark chocolate the worst culprit and milk chocolate less so. White chocolate contains very little (if any) theobromine and so is unlikely to cause serious illness.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Fast heart rate
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Increased thirst
- Muscle tremors
Can dogs die from chocolate poisoning?
Unfortunately dogs can die from chocolate poisoning. However with prompt veterinary treatment most dogs will make a good recovery. Prevention though, is always better than cure.
It’s not just chocolate that appears in abundance at Halloween, what about pumpkins? There’s nothing more reminiscent of this time of year.
Is pumpkin safe for dogs?
Is pumpkin safe for dogs and do dogs even like pumpkin? Some dogs eat anything and everything, while others are a bit more discerning. In general, pumpkin is safe for dogs, but it should be fed in moderation. Large amounts may result in digestive upsets. It’s best to avoid giving them any of the skin too, as that could cause a gut blockage.
Although your dog is unlikely to become unwell after eating pumpkin, there are probably other treats that feature higher in doggy taste tests!
So that concludes our article on Halloween pet safety. Follow us over on Facebook and Instagram for more helpful advice on all things pet related.