It’s that time of year where baked goods and chocolate are found in abundance around the home. While chocolate is a well-known toxin to dogs, many other foods are not. Grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts, items that you might find in Halloween treats, are also highly toxic and potentially lethal to dogs. Halloween and fall festivities themselves can also present dangers to dogs unrelated to to food. To be sure to keep your pup safe this Halloween, and for the rest of the fall season, be sure to follow these tips:
- Beware of food. Kids can tend to drop candy in their excitement, or during the candy sorting that occurs after they come from trick-or-treating. Be sure to either keep your dog removed from the area that the candy is located in, and teach them to “leave it”, if you haven’t already. Telling a dog to leave a piece of food alone that has dropped onto the floor is indispensable and a vital life skill, regardless of the time of year.
- Watch the doors to the home. If you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, chances are you’ll be opening that front door to greet them, and quite often at times. Costumes can tend to be frightening to dogs, even if a child is dressed up as a fairy or a princess! Strangers coming to the home in large populations can be quite stressful, too. The last thing you want is for your dog to bite a child out of fear, or to run off scared into the streets of Los Angeles where there is lots of foot traffic, and worse yet, cars. Be sure that your dog is contained safely before answering that door, whether it be by leash, or in another room. The command “stay” is especially helpful for keeping your dog away from the door.
- Do not leave your dog outdoors unattended. This is especially true for Siberian Huskies. Pranksters are out in full-force on Halloween, and you don’t want to leave your dog are their mercy. A spooked dog may escape the yard and take off into the night and get into even more trouble, and (unfortunately) some sadistic individuals may try to come in and take them by force. For their safety and the safety of others, keep your dog indoors with you throughout the night, and only take them outside when you can watch them.
- Choose your Halloween decor wisely. Many products available today can present choking hazards, as well as electrocution and poisoning. Don’t let your dog near any dry ice, fog machine solution, lights or power cords, or any decor that can be chewed and swallowed. Supervision is the key here, especially if your dogs (again, Siberian Huskies especially) have a tendency to be chewers.
- Even pet costumes can be dangerous. If you choose to dress up your pup for Halloween, never leave them unattended while in costume. Costumes can become snagged in furniture or other household items and present strangulation dangers. Some costumes may contain small parts or material that a dog may decide to chew on, or chew out of if the costume is uncomfortable, which can cause choking or even become caught in the intestines when swallowed.
Halloween is a fun time of year for everyone, pets included. Follow the above precautions and be safe!