Keeping Halloween Spooktacularly Safe for your Dog

Whether you love or loathe Halloween, get dressed up or hide behind the curtains, there are more things than your own personal taste to consider.

For pets - and particularly dogs, fright night can be more than just a nightmare on your street. In fact - it could cost them their life.

Here are eight top tips to keep them safe - and prepare for a night that comes and goes without any nasty trick or treats.

1. You can’t avoid the sweets and chocolate - particularly if you have children. They might be bad for human teeth - but they are even worse for the health of your dog. The darker and more expensive the chocolate, the more theobromine (very dangerous chemical for dogs) it contains, and therefore the more poisonous it is. If you think your dog has eaten some - get them to a vet immediately. Signs can be everything from vomiting and diarrhoea, to over-stimulated behaviour leading to muscle twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening heart problems.

2. Sweets, in a similar way can cause problems that can remain hidden until it’s too late. Lots of sugar can develop into pancreatitis which may cause them to be off their food, develop vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and go into organ failure. If you think there’s any risk they have eaten some, then take them to the vet. Similarly, lollypop sticks, sweet wrappers and small plastic items can cause obstructions and you won’t know about it until the situation becomes serious.

3. Carved pumpkins with candles in them can get knocked over - causing more than just injury to your dog. But saggy tails can also easily be burned so keep naked flames out of reach.

4. Trick-or-treaters that come knocking may make your dog anxious or stressed, particularly if you have left them alone in the house. If they are used to a crate, then make sure they are safely kept away from windows and doors and consider leaving the radio on to distract from the unfamiliar noises outdoors.

5. Don't leave your dog outside - even in the back garden as there are often fireworks and firecrackers being set off at night. This can really stress many dogs out - and nobody wants that, do we?

6. Keep glow sticks away from pets. They are a small chewable object that could be particularly appealing to a young dog. Although the inner fluid is non-toxic, it tastes awful and they could potentially become agitated and paw at their mouth and sometimes even vomit. 

7. Although it can look cute, many dogs do not like to be dressed up. So unless they are compliant, please don’t parade them in a costume unless they are very comfortable doing it - and make sure it doesn’t restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. 

8. Don’t forget that your dog may not take kindly to your outfit! If you come down the stairs dressed in a mask and hat and they don’t like it - take it off until you are out of sight. Keep your dog calm as much as you can - Halloween isn’t something that they have looked forward to!

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