Halloween safety tips for dog owners

Halloween safety tips for dog owners

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(WJBK) -

Detroit Dog Rescue wants to remind dog owners of some tips to keep your dog safe and comfortable during this Halloween.

Tricks no Treats – Most dog owners already know to avoid at all costs giving their dog any form of chocolate or Halloween treats. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and at worse deadly if consumed.  But you should also be aware of chocolates and sweet treats wrapped in tin foil or cellophanes that if ingested can harm your pet. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, raisins and other candy items can pose serious health hazards at Halloween time.

Home Alone or Not – Halloween is not the time to leave your four-legged family member home alone inside or outside.  If outside during trick-or-treat time, dogs could possibly be teased, tormented, frightened by strangers in costumes and masks or fed improper foods or candy. The best place for your dog is in their space inside at home. If you dog has aggressive tendencies, fear of load noises or habit of excessive barking, place him/her in a quite area away from the front door – especially if you are giving out candy to trick-or-treater who are strangers coming to your home.

Scooby-Doo Where Are You?  - During Halloween always keep a collar on your dog with identification information in case your pet gets away from you and becomes scared or disorient. Remember the importance of having your pet identified with a microchip if your dog gets loose, it gives you a fighting chance if your dog is found and can be returned home.

Potty Now Mommy Potty? – On Halloween before you kick back after a long day at the office, walk the dog before the ghosts and goblins start appearing. Consider purchasing a lit collar and reflective leash so drivers and trick-or-treaters can see your dog. When walking your dog keep a firm grasp on the leash because people wearing costumes could frighten your dog.  Make sure to take notice of anything your dog might pick up off the ground that could be a choking hazard such as bits of candy or wrappers on the sidewalk.

Dress Rehearsal Costume Safety – While it's fun to dress up for Halloween, be sure your dog is comfortable being in a costume. Many dogs love the extra attention but for others it can be undue stress. Don't wait until Halloween to first dress your dog.  Try the costume on a few days before and let your dog get use to the idea of being dressed up.  A proper Halloween costume should not limit your dog's ability to see, hear, breathe or move around freely.  Avoid costumes with small dangling or easily chewed-off pieces. Make sure the costume is fire retardant and avoid costumes with rubber bands that can cut of circulation or if forgotten can burrow into the skin. Keep a close eye on your pet when wearing a costume.

Don't Leave Dog in Car – You would think this warning falls into having common sense? Don't leave your dog in the car unattended for anytime during Halloween.  You are away from the car, it's dark and people are moving about it scary clothing, you run the risk of putting your dog in distress. 

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! – Classic line taken from the 1970's sci-fi TV show "Lost in Space." If you notice your dog exhibiting strange behavior such as excessive drooling, urination, pupil dilation, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures, your dog might be showing symptoms of chocolate poisoning.  Consult with your dog's veterinarian right way – your pet's life may be in danger.  

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