Halloween has become a huge family event. Each year it seems that the Halloween parties and parades get bigger and bigger. Of course, dog owners want to get in on the fun that Halloween brings, but the number one priority is in keeping our pups safe. (Remember, dogs only need to keep their costumes on for a minute or two to capture a cute photo for Instagram!)
Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest doggy daycare and overnight camp, offers a list of important tips for Halloween Pet Safety.
1. Fido may look adorable in his new superhero costume, but that cape won’t necessarily keep him out of harm’s way. Costumes should not constrict the animal’s movement, hearing or sight, or impede their ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, it may be helpful to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, it would be wise to skip the costume.
2. Before your pet participates in any Halloween activities, take a closer look at his or her costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that they could choke on. Also, watch out for ill-fitting outfits which can get twisted on external objects on your pet, leading to injury.
3. Putting make-up or face paint on your pet can be harmful. Paints could potentially irritate their skin, or may be eaten. Even make-up that is non-toxic could cause stomachaches or worse.
4. Candy bags are strictly for the enjoyment of trick-or-treaters, not your pet. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Give your pooch their own Halloween candy by treating them to their favorite doggy snack. If you do suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian immediately.
5. Keep an eye out for decorative edible items like Halloween pumpkins and candy corn, when participating in this year’s festivities with your pet. While these are considered to be relatively nontoxic, they can be harmful, causing stomach upset in pets who might nibble on them.
6. Do not take your pets trick or treating. It’s possible that your dog could get spooked by a ghost or goblin and a dog bite or fight could occur. The chaos of small trick-or-treaters and the crowds may also cause dogs to get loose and run away. They are better off safe at home.