Halloween is supposed to be a fun night for everyone to enjoy. While you may think mainly of kids dressed in cute costumes and handing out candy on Halloween night, you should also think of some of the dangers the night poses to your furry friend. Thinking ahead to Halloween dangers will help prevent your dog from getting into some trouble on Halloween night.
Food-Related Halloween Dangers
Most dogs LOVE food. For many dogs, it doesn’t matter what kind, where it came from, and sometimes even how it tastes. Dogs just love to eat. Thinking ahead about where you put your candy hand-out basket, what kind of candy you are handing out, and where those candy wrappers end up (you know, for the treats that don’t make it out the door!) are important things to consider.
If you are going to keep your dog in a room with a closed door, the placement of your hand-out candy doesn’t matter after your dog is safely tucked away. However, if your dog is planning to give out candy, too, you will want to make sure the candy basket is out of reach from curious paws or snouts.
Taking precautions with the type of candy you hand out is important, too. Dogs can get seriously sick or even die from eating chocolate or raisins. While you have probably been told not to give chocolate to dogs, you might not have heard that raisins (and grapes) are extremely toxic to dogs. If you are planning to hand out chocolate or raisins, take extra precaution to make sure your dog can not reach either treat. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a chemical that is similar to caffeine, and it is very toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated the chemical, so a small amount can cause major issues. Raisins (and grapes) can cause kidney failure in dogs. It can take just one grape or raisin to cause major issues with dogs, so be extremely cautious.
If your dog happens to get in the candy, he probably has ingested not only the candy but the candy wrappers. If these wrappers include foil and cellophane, they can cause life-threatening bowel obstruction. If the bowel-obstruction is severe enough, it may need surgery to remove. Sometimes, X-rays are needed to diagnose if this is an issue.
“Safety” Halloween Dangers
Glow sticks and glow jewelry have become increasingly popular for kids to use as safety measures when going out to trick or treat. Not only are glow sticks and glow jewelry lightweight, they are fun to play with and wear. However, the chemicals inside are not fun for dogs that chew on these glow sticks. While typically not life threatening, your dog could suffer pain and irritation in his mouth from the contents of glow sticks, and he may drool and foam at the mouth. If you are planning to use glow sticks or jewelry with your kids, keep them hidden away until it’s time to hand to your kids. You don’t want your dog to accidentally stumble upon them or your kids to accidentally leave them around the house. Besides, handing out glow sticks outside is much more fun, as you can watch the glow spread throughout the stick!
Pet Costume Halloween Dangers
Some pets love to be dressed up, while other dogs just don’t. Knowing how your dog reacts to being dressed up is an important part about putting him in a costume. And, even if your dog likes to be dressed up, you should take care in choosing a dog costume. Making sure the costume doesn’t impair your dog’s vision, movement, or breathing is extremely important. In addition, be careful about the decorations on your dog’s costume. If there are small pieces, beads, snaps, etc, your dog could chew them off and ingest them. Even if you think you are keeping an eye on your dog the whole time he is wearing his costume, his ability to chew something off might surprise you!
Candle Halloween Dangers
Candles and Halloween seem to go hand-in-hand, as candles create spectacular spooky effects and lighting. From Jack o’ Lanterns on porches to luminaries lining streets, candles can be used in many Halloween situations. Many dogs may not experience with candles, so they do not know candles are hot. Unfortunately, many dogs won’t realize candle can be dangerous until they have been burned. In addition to getting burned, many dogs wagging tails that can easily knock over candles and different forms of candle holders with just a single swipe. Keep anything with fire out of your dog’s wagging range.