You may be ready to get into the Halloween spirit, but if you are a dog owner, you should also be prioritizing planning how you are going to keep your furbaby safe during this fangtasically fun holiday event. Your dog doesn’t understand why everything is different on this night of the year, and this alone can cause him to feel stressed and anxious. For this reason, and others, many vets recommend that you keep your canine firmly inside during the Halloween festivities.
#1 It’s scary out there!
You may not think that your dog is easily frightened, but Halloween is confusing time for any animal. Their usual, familiar neighborhood is transformed into an area which can feel anything but safe thanks to the abundance of spooky decorations and strangers in costumes shrieking and screaming roaming the streets. Unable to understand why this sudden change has occurred can make Halloween very stressful for your dog. Your normal, relaxed walk may turn into an unpleasant pulling session as he tugs at the leash, desperate to get into the safety of your home.
We strongly recommend you avoid walking your dog after dark. If you aren’t able to talk him earlier in the day, wear him out with some games and activities inside instead. When you let him out into the yard to do his business, stay with him to make sure he doesn’t get spooked and try and escape.
#2 Halloween candies are dangerous for dogs
Indulging in candy is a major hazard to pets at this time of year. Trick-or-treating and Halloween parties mean that there is usually lots of candy and chocolate available, but virtually of these are toxic to your dog. This is because they contain Xylitol, a substance that can cause him to experience a condition known as hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugars. Just a little Xylitol is enough to make your canine pal seriously sick, and in some cases, just a single stick of gum can be life-threatening.
While you may have all of your treats put out of his reach at home, the same can’t be said for the streets, where discarded candies can be sniffed out by the most curious of noses. Keeping your furbaby indoors eliminates this risk.
#3 Pumpkins pose a risk to the health of your dog
Pumpkins are easily the most popular type of decoration used at Halloween, but while they may be great to look at, they aren’t so awesome if your dog tries to eat them. Firstly, they are often decorated with paint, glitter and other products that could be toxic. Secondly, pumpkins and any remaining seeds go moldy very quickly indeed, and if your curious canine decides to chow down on some pumpkin, he won’t be too worried about traces of mold. Nevertheless, eating rancid pumpkin could make him very sick.
#4 Animal thieves could be roaming on Halloween
When better to try and commit a crime than an evening where it is perfectly acceptable to dress up? Costumes make the perfect disguises and many thieves use Halloween night to target homes and animals since it makes it far harder for any witnesses to identify them, and the crowds and general chaos make it easier for them to pull of their heist without drawing attention to themselves. If your dog is inside, she is much less likely to be stolen.
#5 Decorations can be dangerous
Many people enjoy decorating their homes at Halloween, but some types of decoration can be hazardous to pets, including your dog. Open flames such as candles used in pumpkins, candied-apple centerpieces, and worst of all, stringy cobwebs can all be a significant danger. It is not unheard of for a dog to become tangled in fake spiderwebs and injure or even strangle themselves. Similarly, many decorations such as rubber spiders and eyeballs present a serious choking hazard should your dog put them in his mouth.
By keeping your dog inside this Halloween, you can help to keep him safe from a range of potential threats. If you would like more advice and support in preparing for this Halloween season, we would be happy to help. Please contact our Port Charlotte, FL offices today to speak to our dedicated veterinary team.