Halloween is a blast for animal lovers. Those who love to dress their pets up can explore their creativity and those who don’t can look at the endless photos of sad looking dog dressed in bizarre costumes and snicker. For me it is all about those mellocreme orange pumpkins that are 100% sugar and high fructose corn syrup. I can feel the sugar rush as I type. While we all want to enjoy Halloween, it does present some challenges for pet owners. Since this is The Blissful DOG our tips are geared toward dog owners, but if you have a black cat, you KNOW to keep them safely inside for the next week or so. Here are just a few Halloween tips for dogs safety and to keep it fun for them, too.
#1 – Keep the candy bowl totally out of your dog’s reach. That includes tall dogs who counter surf and little dogs who figured out how to jump from chair to table to counter (yes, I have had Frenchies that did that). For everyone’s safety, and your calorie control, keep all candy in a cupboard. If you do suspect your dog got into the candy, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
#2 Decorations are spooky fun, but make sure the cords are not dangling temptingly in front of your mouthy dog. Also, keep cords tied up so they cannot get tangled in them and bring the haunted castle with the blinking lights down upon them.
#3 Carved pumpkins with real candles in them can also be a temptation for dogs. Our dogs love pumpkin and would eat a pumpkin if allowed to. Just to be safe, use one of those battery candles…flickery and safe!
#4 Drying up your pet can be a giggle, but if your dog absolutely loathes it, please respect them enough to just snap one picture and take the outfit off of them. If you are a dedicated dog dresser-upper, admit it and start your dog out young. If you start when they are a puppy and praise them and give treats they may actually enjoy costume time.
#5 If your dog is a ham and will be costumed, keep the following in mind; make sure your dog can breathe easily, walk comfortably, and hearing is unobstructed. Make sure there are no small bits that can be chewed off and swallowed (by your dog or another dog). Have a dress rehearsal prior to the 31st and get your dog used to that particular costume.
#6 If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night.
#7 All the knocks on the door and ringing of doorbells is sensory for most dogs. Unless your dog is 100% happy and not stressed at all by the commotion PLEASE crate them or put them in a secure area away from the door. It may all just be too much for them, respect their feelings.
#8 If your dog will be in the midst of it all, make sure they have their collar and tags on, just in case they door dash and get out. Speaking of door dashing, make sure your dog is safely on lead and under control as the door is opened and the little goblins are given their sugar fix. Remember, don’t be that house that gives dental floss or one stick of gum. If you are gonna do it, do it right!
Keep these tips in mind and have a Howling Halloween – fun for the entire family!
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