Halloween Tips and Treats!

Halloween is charged with excitement and energy — all great fun with costumes, crowds, candy and decorations. How do we experience this as a great treat night and not one where hidden dangers trick our pets?

  1. The No. 1 tip is to keep ‘em safe! If your dog is afraid of crowds or is people- or pet-aggressive, keep them safely secured in a room inside your house away from the activity. You can leave a TV on to help mask the noise at your door.
  2. For dogs that love to greet guests and assist you with trick-or-treaters, keep them on a leash with you at all times or with an assigned caretaker. This is very easily done. Just keep your arm through their leash loop and let them follow you around as you hand out treats and refill candy-filled pumpkins. This way, they won’t door dart or follow the cute dog-loving kids off into the darkness.
  3. Keep the candy away from your dog. If he’s on a leash next to you, you can keep an eye on that. Chocolate, raisins and grapes can be lethal to dogs. These substances can cause kidney failure, cardiac failure and death. If your dog is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, seizure or any sign of physical distress, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.
  4. Don’t leave your dog outside. The extra activity and costumes may be distressing to him and, unfortunately, there are increased cases of animal cruelty on Halloween.
  5. Don’t expose your puppy to the Halloween costumes and activity if he’s in his “fear imprint stage.” This is between 8 and 11 weeks of age and is a phase handed down from dogs’ ancestors, the wolves. When wild pups emerge from their dens the first few times, if they are frightened by something like a bear, this is imprinted in their minds forever and helps them survive. So we don’t want our young pups to be frightened by a child screaming or a tall man with a big hat and then be afraid of those things for life. Keep your young pups inside in a nice, quiet interior room.

Super Smiley here! I love parties and Halloween is a big one! But, I’ve learned a thing or two about dog parties with people and cats that might help make it even better! 

  1. Costumes! Be sure they are comfortable and not binding! Let your dog wear it ahead of time to test out how it moves with him. Let him play fetch and run around in it like a dog! This way he will feel perfectly at ease and you can really test out the fit.

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  1. Be sure the costume doesn’t block his vision. Some costumes have cool head pieces or hoodies that can block vision. This might make us doggies fearful which could lead to fear aggression! We don’t want that!
  2. Love those decorations! But be careful to keep electric wires out of your dog’s reach. This is especially true if you have a puppy! And make sure open flames are where dogs and cats can’t turn over a candle or catch on fire! One time my cat, Priscilla, walked by a Halloween candle that was way up on a table and her beautiful long hair on her tail caught on fire! She was fine, but it sure made all the people move fast!
  3. Speaking of cats, keep your black cats inside! Unfortunately, Halloween sometimes brings out increased incidences of animal cruelty. So it’s a good idea to keep all of your cats inside a few days before and after Halloween. Many shelters won’t adopt out black cats during October.
  4. Be sure to have name tags with phone numbers on your cats and dogs, and have them microchipped, so if we do get lost, you can come get us back!

Are you concerned your dog may become stressed around all the Halloween activity? Try a calming diffuser with proven pheromone technology, perfect for calming dogs during stressful situations like Halloween.

Are you worried your kitty may become scared by all the noise and activity? When you put her in her “safe room” add some calming spray with pheromone technology that was created especially to calm kitties.

With all the meet-and-greet going on with your dogs who are out and about trick-or-treating, are you worried their breath may not be up to par for those close encounters? Sentry Petrodex Filled Dental Bones are a great way to freshen breath and clean teeth!

Until next time, have a safe and Happy Halloween!

from Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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