Happy Howl-O-Ween! Here at Release the Hounds we’re gearing up for Halloween festivities and have collected what we think are some helpful tips to keep your dog safe, comfortable and happy during all the excitement.
1. Dog Costumes
It is super cute to see your dog all dressed up in a costume for the holiday, but some pets do not enjoy wearing them, and you should also take costume safety into account. Take time and let them get used to their costume before the big night. By introducing them to their costume slowly, you can save you and your dog a lot of stress. Take a couple of weeks, put one piece on at a time and gradually increase the amount of time they wear it for. Be sure to give them a treat for having it on and not fussing.
2. Pranksters and Mischief
In the weeks leading up to the 31st, people have been known for playing some nasty tricks that have sometimes resulted in horrible events in the “Halloween spirit”. These pranks sometimes include stealing, teasing, injuring, and even killing animals. For example, black cats are often targeted due to superstitions even though the animal has done nothing wrong and does not deserve the cruelty. Some animal shelters try to prevent this by putting a restriction on adopting out black cats around the end of October. These terrible acts are preventable by keeping your cats and dogs inside or keeping a close eye.
3. Keep Candy Out of Reach
It’s a well-known fact that dogs are allergic to chocolate (particularly baker’s and dark chocolate) but did you also know that some of our other Halloween treats may also contain xylitol? Commonly found in sugar-free gum and gummies, xylitol is used as a sweetener and when ingested can be highly toxic to your pets. Ingestion of xylitol can cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, internal bleeding, and liver failure. If your dog shows any of these symptoms Halloween night, take them straight to the vet! If left untreated xylitol toxicity can lead to death.
4. Trick or Treating
Even if your dog is used to all the hustle and bustle of the evening’s events, you may still want to consider putting them away somewhere safe and secure. The constant stream of strangers in costume ringing the doorbell and laughing, screaming or shouting may put your dog through a great deal of unnecessary stress. You also run the risk that they can escape through the door as you’re busy handing out candy. Be considerate of your dog and give them a calm, quiet space of their own for the evening or consider bringing them to a kennel for the night (check out our article on how to choose a boarding facility). However, we do not recommend leaving your pets outside unattended, as we discussed above.
5. Post Festivities
The night after Halloween, the streets may be a little more of a mess than usual. You are more likely to come across fallen candies, costumes that didn’t hold up, old pumpkins, and decorations while out on your morning walk on November 1st. Keep a close eye on your pup to make sure they aren’t picking up or eating things they shouldn’t be. Old jack-o-lanterns can contain mould and bugs that could make your dog sick and are a frequent find the morning after.
Take caution and follow these simple advisories to ensure that you and your family enjoy the festivities and keep safe on Halloween!
Written By: Rachelle Biever CPDT-KA