Halloween is a joyous time for our little two legged family members, but another story entirely for our four legged friends. I’d like to point out a few potential hazards and how to prepare you for the safest and sanest Halloween possible.
- Chocolate and candy. With all the kids out and jack-o-lanterns overflowing, pups-with their amazing noses will undoubtedly spot a morsel left behind. Not to worry; it would take a 50 lbs dog eating 50 ounces of milk chocolate to be at a toxic level. Being diligent in watching what is on the ground is imperative, as lollipop sticks can potentially rupture in the intestines and cause blockage.
- Constant Door Bell Ringing. I’m not sure about you, but I get annoyed with the constant noise, and dogs and cats do as well. Dogs, while doing their instinctive jobs-to protect and alert will be working overtime trying to alert their owners that someone is at the front door. I suggest keeping your dog’s away from the door-in a safe room, or in their crates. Using a holistic pheromone treatment, such as Comfort Calm, Rescue Remedy, a Thunder Shirt or even lavender spray will help quell their anxieties. Cats should also be confined to a room filled with toys, snuggly bedding and access to water and their litter boxes. A cat will undoubtedly bolt to the great outdoors, given the change. Please make sure you have proper identification on your pets at all times, especially during this season.
- Costumes. While many feel that dogs and cats look adorable, just think of the discomfort of tight elastic, head restrictions and let’s face it, the embarrassment of walking around like a bee when you are a Doberman? Watch out for your pets chewing on parts and ingesting them. Pets should never be left unsupervised with a costume on. Not only is most of the fabric treated with potentially toxic chemicals, but small parts and pieces can pose a choking hazard-just like with infants.
- Trick or Treating with the pups. While leaving your dog home may not be an option, make sure the animal is leashed and ideally have an LED light on its collar or leash, or a reflective collar. While walking in the dark, the little ones will be focused on scoring candy and not watching where they are walking. By illuminating your pups, you position them for safety. Again, make sure that you watch what they are sniffing and potentially eating.