Halloween can be a frightening time for family dogs. Each Halloween,
veterinarians nationwide see pet injuries that could have been avoided.
Here are some ways we can protect pets:
* Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a
firm grip on the leash; many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.
* Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if
you're giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when
the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people
often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get
hit by cars.
* Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag.
* Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in
case someone accidentally lets your pet out of the place where he's
confined. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.
* If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises, or
a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away
from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before
* Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and
reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite
blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, or whatever comforts
the animal. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.
* If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep
him on leash. Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and
unwelcome interruptions in routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened
and growl, lunge or bite.
* Keep dogs indoors. It's a bad idea to leave dogs out in the yard;
in addition to the parade of holiday celebrants frightening and
agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings and pet
thefts. Plus, they're likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of
treat or treaters.
* As for cats, as the ASPCA and other organizations advise, keep cats indoors at all times.
* Do not leave dogs in cars.
* Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers before
your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or
intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can't get into the trash.
Note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and
even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it
is - and the smaller the lethal dose.
* Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous
treats are to pets. Take young childrenUs candy supply and put it
somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy
wrappers on the floor.
* Make sure pets can't reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments.
* Halloween costumes can annoy animals and pose safety and health
hazards…so think twice before dressing up the dog. Make sure the dog can
breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove
any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed.
Avoid rubber bands, which can cut off the animal's circulation or, if
accidentally left on, can burrow and cut into the animal's skin.
* If the animal is very high-strung, consult your vet about tranquilizing for the night.
* When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for
what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound
on sidewalks and streets after holidays.
* If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, go to your
vet or an emergency vet right away because your pet's life may be in
Vomiting and diarrhea
Muscle tremors and seizures
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