Holiday Safety Series: Halloween

Photo: @thatgoldendog

For us bipeds, Halloween can be tons of fun. But the holiday’s signature creepy costumes, tempting treats, and delightful decorations can be downright terrifying for your pup. That’s why we’ve pulled together our top tips for keeping your furry friend happy, safe, and stress-free on the scariest of nights (trust us, Fido will thank you).

Keep calm. With the constant doorbell ringing and onslaught of ghastly ghosts and pretty princesses, even the most pragmatic pooch could become frightened. Give Fido his space by letting him relax in a quiet room with his creature comforts. And remember: All Hallows’ Eve brings out pranksters who may not play nice with an unattended outdoor pup, so keep ’em inside.

Take care with costumes. Dressing up your dog might be fun for you, but sporting a costume can be stressful and uncomfortable for your canine counterpart. Like we always say — know thy dog. If your silly Sadie is fine hammin’ it up as a lovely ladybug, ensure her costume is comfortable and safe (i.e. not obstructing vision, hearing, or movement) and keep an eye on her at all times. Remember: There’s no shame in letting your Halloween hound celebrate in her birthday suit!

Stay home. There’s no place like home for your pooch on Halloween. Enticing as it may be to take Rover for a stroll around the neighborhood while ghosts and goblins are afoot, the bizarre sights, sounds, and smells could leave him overly excited or thoroughly frightened. Leave the trick-or-treating to the humans.

Geordi LaFluff has a say in his costume attire. (@geordilafluff via Instagram)

Hold the sweets. While a fun-size candy bar will barely make a dent in your diet, it’s doggone detrimental to your dog’s health. Chocolate and other candy can contain harmful (even poisonous!) ingredients, like the caffeine-like stimulant methylxanthine and the artificial sweetener xylitol. Keep the sweets under wraps (and the wrappers, too).

Decorate deliberately. It’s tempting to turn the Halloween festivity up to 11, but decking out your duds can be dangerous for your dog. Display jack-o’-lanterns and lit candles out of reach of curious canines. And avoid wreaking havoc on your hound by keeping electrical cords and lights out of sight.

Get IDed. Should the unfortunate happen, your best bud has the greatest chance of staying safe if she’s got proper ID and license (Twin Cities, folks, get yours through and get rewarded!). Not microchipped yet? The Animal Humane Society offers inexpensive dog microchipping services.

Be prepared. If your pup does pull a Houdini, contact your local shelter immediately. Get the word out lickety-split, starting with neighbors, post on Lost Dogs Minnesota and have recent, clear photos of your pup available. Think Fido got ahold of a toxic treat? Ring up the Pet Poison Helpline, open 24/7.

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