Halloween can be a lot of Fun...
But it's important to remember that your dogs experience this holiday from a much different viewpoint and understanding. Here are some tips to help you make it through Halloween without any special trips to the after-hours vet clinic.
1. Keep the candies and chocolates out of reach. This is really important and because dogs can't digest chocolate. Many people don't realize that the artificial sweetener in candies, called "xylitol", can cause seizures and liver failure. (source: VCA)
2. Pumpkins and corn are also hard on dogs' stomachs, so if you see them beginning to munch, redirect them to a toy or with a treat.
3. Replace the candles in your Jack-o-Lanterns with battery-powered tea lights, like these, to minimize danger should your dog get too close to the flame, or accidentally knock it over.
4. Costumes can be really scary for dogs. They make people look like things your pets have never seen before, and this can be very distressing. Use care in being sure that your pet can recognize you.
5. Costumes (again!) Don't dress up your dogs unless you know they'll enjoy wearing a costume. Some dogs handle clothes well, while others don't. This can make your dog stressed and agitated if he isn't happy in his Batman costume.
6. Keep your dog away from the Trick-or-Treat door. This is for their safety and that of the kids knocking on your door. Costumes can be scary for dogs, and they want to keep their home safe. They don't understand that there isn't anything to be afraid of.
7. Don't leave your pet outside on Halloween. Seeing all the extra activities outside, and droves of new people and things coming up to your house can be very triggering for any dog. It can also be unsafe for trick-or-treaters if your dog gets out of the yard. Find a quiet and cozy spot indoors for your pet to be during trick-or-treat hours.
8. Make sure to pick up all those candy wrappers. Those shiny plastic bits and the sweet smells all over them will be really attractive to your pet. Eating the plastic could lead to a vet visit, and any remaining candy can be harmful (see #1).
9. If you think your dog has ingested anything that could be toxic to them, contact your vet immediately.