Halloween poses a host of horrors
for pets. This haunting holiday is no treat for the family dog.
Halloween's tradition of candy, costumes and trick-or-treating
can be a threatening and potentially dangerous time for dogs.
What is a fun time for children
can be a very stressful time for the family dog. It's
natural for families, especially children, to try to include
their family dog in the fun; however, this is one holiday the
pet should probably forgo.
There are a number of hazards that
dog owners should consider during Halloween:
- Don't leave your pet out in the
yard on Halloween: There are plenty of stories of vicious
pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, even killed
pets on this night.
- Loud and excessive noise
created by Trick-or-Treaters can frighten your pet. Pets,
especially dogs that are easily excitable or threatened by
strangers, should be kept away from the front door to keep
them from biting strangers or running into the street.
- Don't dress the dog in costume
unless you know he loves it. Otherwise, it puts a lot of
stress on the animal. If you do dress up your dog,
make sure the costume isn't constricting, annoying or
unsafe. Be wary of costumes that contain rubber bands to
keep them in place on the animal. If rubber bands are
mistakenly left on the pet after the costume comes off, they
can quickly burrow into the animal's skin.
careful not to obstruct her vision even the sweetest dogs
can get snappy when they can't see what's going on around
but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room
during Trick-or-Treat visiting hours; too many strangers in
strange garb can be scary for a dog.
careful your dog doesn't dart out through the open door.
are better off left at home during Trick-or-Treat
excursions; however, if they are taken along, it is best to
keep them on a very short leash to keep them from fighting
with other animals or biting strangers they encounter.
dogs have a sweet tooth, but candy can be deadly, so make
sure those Halloween candy bars and holiday boxes of
chocolate are put out of Scruffy's reach.
Chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid similar to
caffeine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in
Different types of chocolate can have varying amounts of
theobromine, so if Macho eats a bag of M & Ms or a
chocolate cupcake, he may not be affected, but a dish of
dark chocolate candies may do him in.
To safeguard pets from theobromine poisoning resist the urge
to share any candy -- chocolate or otherwise -- with your
pet. Give your dog or cat a healthy treat instead of candy.
a bowl of dog biscuits handy for the Trick-or-Treaters who
bring their dogs to your house.
sorting your candy, make sure to pick up all candy and
wrappers. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can
be hazardous if swallowed.
careful of pets around a lit pumpkin: Pets may knock it over
and cause a fire. Curious puppies especially run the risk of
this can be a fun time for people and pets alike, remember that
your pets are depending on you to keep them safe from the more
dangerous goblins and ghouls that this holiday brings. Each
Halloween, veterinarians around the country see scores of pet
injuries that could have been easily avoided. Pet owners should
keep in mind that pets are creatures of habit and can become
very stressed when their environments suddenly change. They are
really much better off if they are protected from all the
'traditions' of Halloween.