Halloween is one of our favourite holidays of the year. Who doesn’t love a bit of Trick or Treating, dressing up in fun Halloween dog costumes and having a few pranks and fun with your friends and the neighbours. And of course, our furry four legged family members are an integral part of the event, either dressing them up in fun costumes or helping them to cope with the additional noise and excitement that is part of Halloween. While some more sociable dogs and cats take Halloween in their stride, enjoying all the extra fun and excitement with the humans, other pets struggle with anxiety due to the extra noise and change in routine. However, whether you have an outgoing and fun loving pet or a more introverted furry companion, here are some useful tips to keep your dog safe, happy and stress free this Halloween.
Make sure your dog has a safe zone
While your dog may enjoy having all these fun new people come to the door, as the night wears on, your dog may become overwhelmed with all the strangers and noise. If you are confident your dog is enjoying the attention, you can keep them near the door for the night and delight everyone with your Halloween dog costumes. If your dog starts showing signs of stress and irritation, like barking, growling, whimpering or becoming over excited, it is a good idea to retreat them to a safe zone.
Prior to Halloween night, make sure to set up a retreat for your dog like a quiet bedroom or laundry, where your pet can go if they get distressed. It is a good idea to prepare this area early, because once the trick or treaters come knocking, you may be too busy to properly settle and relax your furry friend. Keep your dog’s bed, water, a treat to get them settled and any other items that will calms and relax your dog, in an area that can be closed off from noise and distraction.
It’s a good idea to keep your dog inside the house, rather than in the yard, in case kids see an unattended dog as an opportunity to prank or tease. We all know that sometimes kids make mistakes with dogs, so its best to avoid any potential missteps if possible.
If your dog gets very stressed and anxious with lots of visitors and noise, you can use pheromone sprays to calm your dog if needed. Ask your vet prior to Halloween to recommend a good spray for your dog, and use it in the lead up to the night so your dog is relaxed and happy.
Test your Halloween dog costume prior to the night
If you have a dog who just loves to dress up and be the centre of attention, Halloween is definitely going to be their time to shine. When you are purchasing a costume for your dog, make sure that the measurements and fit match your dogs shape. Some costumes work better with long skinny dog shapes and others work best with stocky shaped dogs. Always trial the costume on your dog for a few hours prior to Halloween, to make sure it is comfortable and doesn’t restrict movement. You don’t want your dog getting stuck or injuring themselves with an improperly fitting costume.
If you buy your Halloween dog costume from www.furbabeez.com and have any questions, please use the contact form or the customer service line to get assistance and advice on the best fit for your dog.
If your dog looks uncomfortable or distressed during Halloween night, take the costume off if your pet right away. Signs of discomfort include folded down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, tucked tail or hunching over.
And ensure that you never leave pet in a costume unattended, in case they get stuck on obstacles in the house. This is very distressing for your dog and can be extremely dangerous.
Keep pet ID tag on in the costume
Microchipping is the best way to keep track of your dog if they get lost and it would be a good idea if you haven’t microchipped your dog already, to get it done before the chaos of Halloween night.
However, if you don’t have a microchip in your dog, or even if you do, keep your dogs collar and ID tag on, inside the dog costume. It can be tempting to take off the dog collar and tag when you put the costume on, if it doesn’t fit well with the collar or if the collar doesn’t match the costume, but it’s important that the tag stays firmly attached to your dog. This can save time if your dog escapes and a helpful stranger finds them.
Trick or treat candies are toxic for dogs
Halloween is definitely the time for us humans to get our sugar high, however almost all sweets and candies are toxic for dogs. It is important to make sure the candies are well out of your dog’s reach or can’t be dropped where dogs can swoop in and eat them.
Have your vets contact number handy in case of emergency. Another good number to have is the Pet Poison Hotline, which is a 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center that can be reached on 855-764-7661. They have a $59 USD per incident fee to help with dogs that have ingested toxic Halloween treats. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
If you suspect your dog may have chomped on something they shouldn’t have, symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures. If your dog has any of these symptoms or you suspect they have eaten some candy, reach out for help immediately.
Doggy proof the house
Halloween hazards for your dog include the candies and the costume, however remember that your dog won’t be familiar with the new layout of Halloween decorations around your house. Make sure lit pumpkins are out of reach in case your dog is disorientated with the added excitement or just clumsy and knocks them over creating a fire risk.
And lastly.... have fun ;)
Phew! So that is a lot of things to remember to have a safe Halloween, but with a bit of prep work, you will have everything you need to keep your dog safe and happy this Halloween. We hope you use these tips and tricks so that you and your dog have a pawesome time and lots of fun this Halloween!