A Safe and Sane Canine Halloween

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We’re fast approaching the spookiest night of the year for dogs (and cats). Halloween can be particularly difficult for our dogs, who are assailed with new noises, doorbells ringing, and scary kids in costumes. This is a stressful time for animals, but with a little planning, you can make it an enjoyable and stress-free holiday for your four-legged family members. Here are some tips:

Leave the Trick-or-Treating to Humans
You might think your dog loves heading out to see all of the children dressed up in costumes, but the truth is, you’re putting your dog at risk to be injured, your neighbors at risk for being bitten and yourself at risk for a lawsuit.

This is the time of year that your dogs are most likely going to be happier indoors, away from noise, and out of range of doorbells being rung for hours on end. Consider crating your dog during this stressful time, or putting her into a room with a Kong toy and some relaxing classical music.

Train Your Dog to Ignore the Doorbell
Training dogs not to react when the doorbell rings is one of the greatest things you can do for them. The best way to do this is to start when they’re puppies and help them grow accustomed to noises gradually.

Keep Treats Out of Reach
There are so many toxic products that dogs can get into during this time of year, that I am unable to list them all. You must find a way to keep candy and other dangerous foods out of your dog’s reach. This often means discussing the dangers of leaving candy lying about with your kids and housemates.

Pet Poison Hotline is a great resource to keep on hand—there are apps for your cellphone and iPad, as well as a special number to call in case of emergency. Calls cost $39 but might save you an expensive emergency veterinarian fee if you call them first.

Keep Deadly Decorations Out of Reach
Decorations are very dangerous for pets. Whether it’s decorative corn, glow-sticks, plastic party pieces or wires and cords, decorative items present choking hazards and the possibility of bowel obstructions, not to mention possible burns or electrocution.

Wrappers are also a favored danger by pets because they make noise, smell wonderful and humans always seem to leave them lying around. Keep a close eye on your kids and make sure they are properly disposing of candy wrappers and any leftover pieces of candy that fall onto the floor.

ID is Imperative
It is particularly important that your pet is microchipped, wearing proper ID and is up-to-date on vaccinations during Halloween. This is a great time to make sure the microchip register has your current information. You might consider registering your dogs’ microchips at Found Animals, where a grant has helped make this free nationwide registry available to all pet owners (no matter what brand of chip your pet has).

 

Article from Animal Behavior College Blog

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