Updated: Oct 18, 2019
For us, Halloween can be a time full of yummy treats, fun parties and going Trick or Treating. However, for some dogs all the excitement sends them a little bit wild! For others, it can be a very scary time of year. Here are my top tips to surviving Halloween:
1. Food Safety
· Chocolate – toxic to our canine friends. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid breathing and seizures. If your dog has eaten chocolate call your vet immediately for help.
· Artificial sweetener Xylitol – this is very poisonous to dogs. Even a small amount can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure, loss of co-ordination, seizures and kidney failure. Call a vet immediately if your dog eats anything containing Xylitol.
· Uncooked, and potentially mouldy Halloween pumpkin or corn displays can cause problems such as gastrointestinal upset and intestinal blockage. Some types of mould produce Mycotoxins that can cause neurological problems in dogs. Call the vets for help if you believe your dog has eaten pumpkin or corn.
2. Decoration Safety
· Glow sticks – these are non-toxic, however the liquid is foul tasting and may cause your dog to drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated and sometime to vomit. If your dog has chewed a glow stick offer them fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material from their mouth
· Lit pumpkins – fire hazard
· Battery powered decorations – these if chewed can cause electric shock, chemical burns from the battery acid and intestinal blockage if swallowed.
3. Dressing up
Yes our dogs can look very cute in fancy dress but here are some things to keep in mind
· If you are thinking of dressing your dog up, introduce the to the outfit slowly before Halloween, with yummy treats and lots of praise.
· Does your dog look like they enjoy fancy dress? Are they showing signs of stress such as lip smacking, yawning, pacing?
· Costumes should not restrict yours dogs’ movement, eyesight, hearing or breathing in any way. You should never leave your dog unattended in their outfit.
· Remember fancy dress isn’t for everyone, and a photo of a stressed dog is not cute!
4. General Safety
· Make sure that your dog has an ID tag with your contact details on. If your dog is found without one you can be charges up to £5,000! It also helps your dog get home safe if they are spooked, or bolt for freedom as you open the front door to ‘trick or treaters’.
· If your dog loves visitors it may be best to keep them behind a childgate or safely behind a closed door, masks can be very scary for dogs and it may change the way they feel about future visitors. Plus not everyone who comes to your door will enjoy big dog kisses
· For those dogs that find Halloween a scary time provide them with a safe space, either a covered crate, or a bed in a safe corner. You can also put a notice on your door to ask people not to knock or ring the bell. Some people just leave a bowl of treats outside their house for kids to help themselves. Check out our shop for downloadable posters.
We can try to make Halloween a fun time for our dogs:
How about teaching them tricks for treats? There are all sorts of tricks you can teach your dog, anything from giving a paw, to going through your legs, to playing dead!
Stuffed a Kong full of yummy treats can keep your dog busy and help with self soothing during stressful times.
Here is recipe to try from the Kong Website:
What to stuff
This is best used with a Kong or similar as it will ooze out of anything which is open at both ends.
• 1 or 2 cooking apples (depending on the size of your kong)
• 1 tbsp water
• 1tsp honey (less or none at all for senior dogs and dogs on a weight loss diet)
How to stuff it
Peel and core the apples. Chop up the remaining flesh and put it in a pan along with the water to stew. Boil the mixture with a lid on for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s become soft.
If you’re using honey, stir it into the stewed apple.
Allow the mixture to cool completely then use it to stuff your kong.
If your dog enjoys water and apples, why not let them have a go at apple bobbing too?!
Stay safe & have a happy spooky Halloween!