Don’t Spook Your Senior Dog on Halloween

Halloween is a spooky holiday, full of children screaming “trick or treat”, strange noises and dog owners who want their pets to dress up. Chances are if you have a senior dog, he’s way over the whole dress up thing.

To keep your older dogs safe, here are some tips to follow:

  1. Hide the candy. We know that chocolate and xylitol are extremely toxic to dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoningmay include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
  2. Be careful of fire. A lighted pumpkin is pretty, but your dog can easily knock the candle over. Although pumpkins are not toxic to dogs, they can produce an upset stomach.
  3. Keep your dog inside. Too much mischief occurs on Halloween. You do not want teenage trick-or-treaters to taunt your dog.
  4. Keep your dog away from the door. If you have a lot of trick-or-treaters, your door may be opening and closing all night. Remember that dogs are territorial and may be frightened by the unusual costumes. It might be best to put your dog in a room with a closed door so he can’t escape out the front door or in his crate.
  5. Dressing up or down. Many dogs don’t like costumes. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. It’s not worth your dog’s discomfort to get a cute picture. If you choose to dress your dog up, don’t choose a costume that’s restrictive in any way or inhibits their ability to hear, bark or see. Also, make sure the costume is safe, non-flammable and non-toxic.
  6. Identification. Should your dog escape, you want to make sure your dog has proper identification. Even if your dog has a microchip it’s best to have information on his collar as well.
  7. Leash. If you are walking your kids and dogs around the neighborhood, keep your dog on a firm leash or harness.
  8. Reassure your do. If your dog seems unsettled by Halloween, act as normal as possible, By over-reassuring your dog or giving him extra attention, you might be sending the message that there is something to worry about.

Although Halloween is a great time of year for kids, your dog could become stressed and anxious. Those little ghouls and goblins can be quite scary!

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