It never hurts to consider a few common-sense safety tips for pets as the spooktacular event of Halloween rolls around.
1. That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy. Chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can also be hazardous if swallowed.
2. Pumpkins and decorative corn are not toxic but can produce stomach upsets and intestinal blockage, if large pieces are eaten.
3. Keep wires and electric cords taped securely to the floor or covered so Rover doesn’t chew them and risk burning his mouth or getting shocked.
4. Elevate candles and potpourri oils up and out of paw reach, because curious pets can easily knock them over, start a fire, or singe themselves.
5. Dressing up is fun—if your pet enjoys it and the costume is safe, meaning it does not restrict his or her movement, breathing, hearing, or sight. Wearing a costume can be very stressful.
6. Safely confine your dog inside your home during peak trick-or-treat hours.
7. When opening the door, be sure Spot doesn’t dart outside; keep him collared.
8. Always make sure your dog has proper identification.
9. If your pooch gets get stressed, try cotton balls in her ears to help diminish loud noises or add a few drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy to the food or water bowel to calm nerves.
Carol Osborne, D.V.M., is an integrative veterinarian at Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.