As widely celebrated as Halloween is, the day brings some worries for dog owners, not to mention an increase in the number of calls to the pet poison hotline.
Whether you plan to dress your pup in the cutest doggie costume ever or just need to get through the day, there are precautions dog owners should take to keep their four-legged friend safe. The American Kennel Club shares the following guidelines to have a happy, healthy holiday with your dog:
— Costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up in a costume, supervise him at all times. Make sure it fits properly and is not in the way of his breathing, eyesight or hearing. If your dog swallows any elastic or decorative items, it could cause intestinal obstructions or choking.
— Think ahead. If you are trying to avoid the Halloween festivities, make an effort to walk your dog earlier in the day while it is still light outside to avoid distractions and dangers. Your dog may find candy, wrappers and broken eggs on lawns and streets. Make sure that these tempting treats stay out of your dog's reach.
— No candy. Did you know that emergency critical care and toxicology calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent during the week of Halloween? That's because candy and sweets can be dangerous for your dog. A dog's digestive system is not adapted for sweets. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be extremely harmful and sometimes fatal to dogs. Keep in mind that baking chocolate is especially high in this chemical.
— Candle safety. Be careful about where you place candles and jack-o'-lanterns. They can easily be knocked over by your dog's wagging tail and either burn your dog or start a fire. Make sure these items are out of your dog's reach.
— Trick-or-treaters. Children in costumes can frighten dogs. Make sure your dog is in a secure room where he feels safe when you answer the door. If you want your dog to greet trick-or-treaters, always keep him on leash. Your dog may be stressed by the noise, activity or simply the interruption of his normal routine.
Keep your dog inside. Don't leave your dog unattended outside on Halloween, even if he is behind a fence. Make sure he always wears a collar with an ID or is microchipped. Pranksters may target your dog with eggs, and people may be tempted to give your dog harmful treats and candy.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.(c)2020 American Kennel Club, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.