It’s that time again. For goblins and ghosts, pumpkins and pranks, and things that go bump in the night. But as responsible dog owners, please ensure that your cherished companions aren’t innocent victims of Halloween’s fun and frolics.
Consider the following suggestions to keep your canines safe not sorry.
1. Keep candy out of reach of your dogs. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can prove toxic for them. Candy containing the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can also cause dire problems. If you suspect that your dogs may have ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Although pumpkins’ outer shells and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic, they can still produce an upset stomach if copiously consumed rather than simply sampled.
3. Keep wires and cords from lights and other decorations safely out of reach. If chewed, your dogs might be cut or burned or receive a potentially life-threatening electric shock.
4. Festive, carved pumpkins with candles inside can be easily knocked over by playful paws and a fire started. Curious puppies in particular run the risk of being singed or burned by a candle flame. Either keep them unlit, out of reach, or keep an eagle eye on your dogs’ wandering whereabouts at all times.
5. Don’t dress your dogs up in costumes unless you know that they’re comfortable being decked out — not stressed out — by putting on the “glitz”. The safest, albeit less sassy alternative is to opt instead for a Halloween theme bandana dramatically draped round their necks.
6. Keep all but the most social dogs in a separate room when “trick or treating” children come to call. Even then, take care that they don’t daringly dart outside when the door first opens.
7. Should they still manage to “pull a Houdini” and dash off into the night, ensure that they have either been micro-chipped or are wearing a collar and tags for proper identification and a swift return to your anxious arms.
With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your best furry, four-legged friends can be assured of spending the safest and happiest of Halloweens — together.