Pet Costumes & More: Halloween Safety Tips for Dog Owners

Sure, it’s fun to dress-up your dog for Halloween, but many costume accessories can cause your dog to suffer a severe injury. When it comes to your pup’s safety during Halloween, there’s more than just costumes for you to think about. Any novel object, including decorations, spooky effects and lights, inflatables, and the candy dish can attract a curious dog. The following tips will help you make sure Halloween is spooky good fun—and safe—for your pup.


Halloween Tip #1: Simple is Safest for Pet Costumes

It’s hard to resist putting Halloween costume on your dog, especially the smaller breeds and puppies. Unfortunately, many costume elements include elements that are a hazard for choking, digestive distress, and even overheating.


When choosing a costume for your pet, look for one that is:

  • Made of breathable fabric

  • Does not cover the entire body

  • Does not have buttons or other parts that can fall off or be chewed off

  • Does not have strings the dog can access

  • Does not restrict the dog’s movement or breathing

Warning Signs a Costume is Distressing Your Dog

If your dog shows any of the following distress signals while wearing a Halloween costume, remove the costume immediately.

  • Whimpering

  • Pacing, or refusing to move

  • Pawing at the costume or trying to scratch their body

  • Changes in breathing: either rapid breathing or shallow breathing

REMEMBER: Never leave your pet alone while it is wearing a costume


Once your pet is out of the costume, give your pet a chance to settle down and observe for obvious signs of injury or illness. Seek immediate medical attention if needed. Keep in mind—if your dog swallowed part of the costume, it may take time before a problem manifests. Don’t assume what the dog ate will pass through and come out his backend! This is why you also need to inspect the costume for damage such as missing parts or tears that indicate the dog chewed and ate something, etc. If something is missing and you suspect the dog ingested it, contact an emergency vet to have your dog checked-out. Better safe than sorry.


Halloween Tip #2: No Dogs in the Candy Dish

If your dog is a counter surfer, then you need to keep all candy out of reach. Don’t assume that because of your dog’s size or age, that they won’t find a way to check out the candy dish.


Many Halloween treats are toxic to dogs and/or are choking hazards:

  • Chocolate

  • Candy Corn

  • Nuts

  • Hard candies, lollipops

  • Chewing Gum

  • Candy wrappers left in an open trash will attract your dog!

Halloween Tip #3: Keep Dogs Away from Decorations

Unusual sounds and enticing aromas may attract your dog to decorative Halloween items that actually pose a threat to your pup’s wellbeing.

  • Candles and candle-lit jack-o-lanterns can be easily knocked over by a startled or curious dog, leading to burns and fires. A safer option is to use battery operated candles.

  • Electrical cords are both a chewing hazard and an entanglement hazard. Puppies and curious dogs may chew on the wires, risking an electric shock. A safer option is to use kighting that runs on batteries. When you must use cords, be sure they have a heavy-duty capsule, are neatly tied, and hidden from areas where your dog likes to roam.

  • Fog machines contain a toxic solution that is deadly to all animals. Keep your dog out of the fumes and away from the machine.

  • Glow sticks are a Halloween favorite, especially in households with young kids. However, a dog may mistake the glow stick for a chew toy. The liquid inside the glow sticks can be toxic to your pet.

Halloween Tip #4: Dogs Don't Greet Trick or Treaters

The main attraction on Halloween night is who’s coming to the door, right?

When you open your front door, the last nightmare you want to experience is the one in which your dog escapes into the street. Likewise, you don't want to see your dog frighten a child. During trick-or-treating hours, keep your pup in a secure space in your home with a busy bone. Don’t keep your dog in your yard, where the lights, sounds, and crowds of trick-or-treaters will likely have your dog keyed-up and barking all night.


Halloween can be great fun for you and your pup, if you keep their safety and comfort in mind.


Delaware’s Best Dog Sitters are Available for You on Halloween

Have a Halloween Bash of your own to attend? Don’t leave your pup home alone! Weather or Not provides compassionate and reliable pet sitters to provide your pup with the care it needs while you are scaring up a good time of your own. Call us today: 302-304-8399


Resources


ASPCA

Pets and Toxic Food

Halloween Safety Tips

5 Halloween Hazards for Dogs

Are Dog Costumes a Bad Idea?




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