How to keep your dog safe and happy this Halloween

Photo (c) Kiko Jimenez - Fotolia

Avoid a Halloween health scare by following these tips

Halloween is full of both tricks and treats, but pet parents should be careful not to let their pets accidentally scarf down too much of the latter. In the blink of an eye, chocolate candy intended to end up in pumpkin-shaped buckets may end up in your pup’s tummy.

The pet insurance experts at Trupanion see a 71% increase in chocolate toxicity during Halloween compared to the previous six months of the year. Chocolate-related health issues can cost pet owners between $240 to $1,200 per claim.

To keep pets safe and avoid incurring such costs, pet owners should keep chocolate and other Halloween candy out of paw’s reach. Additionally, pet parents should be careful not to let their pets fall victim to other Halloween hazards.

Halloween pet safety

Will your pet be staying home with you while you pass out treats? Avoid a Halloween scare by following these tips for keeping pets safe and happy.

  • Choose a safe costume. According to the National Retail Federation, 16% of pet owners will dress their pet in a costume this Halloween. If your pet will have a costume, make sure it’s safe, comfortable, and nonrestrictive. You should be able to slip two fingers around the neck and arms, just like a collar.
  • Avoid dangerous decor. From faux spider webs to festive orange string lights, Halloween often involves a fair amount of decorating. But according to Dr. Sarah Nold, Trupanion’s on-staff veterinarian, items such as maize, candy wrappers, paper decorations, and other fall decor can be dangerous if consumed.
  • Make sure pets have ID. Whether your dog will be accompanying the kids to go trick-or-treating or staying home with you, it’s important to make sure dogs have their identification on them. Proper identification is crucial in the event that they get separated from you or dart out when the doorbell rings.
  • Keep pets calm. Not every dog enjoys Halloween. The increased household activity and doorbell-ringing may put some dogs on edge. If your dog is prone to becoming anxious, consider putting them in another room with a new treat or toy during trick-or-treating hours. Turn on a TV or music to muffle the sound of trick-or-treaters.
  • Stock up on dog treats. Your dog isn’t the only one who may be tempted by human treats on Halloween. Other dogs may also be wishing they could have a treat -- especially those who have been loyally tagging along with the kids all evening. Keep dog treats at the ready for trick-or-treaters who come with a dog.

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