Halloween is right around the corner, and while we're all entitled to one good scare, that scare shouldn't include your dog! As you decorate your home with lights, strategically select your costume, and buy so much candy your dentist cries, it's best to take some precautions if you have canine family members. Here's our list of tips for having a dog-safe Halloween! 🎃
1. Keep Candy Away From Your Pets
Most pet parents know that chocolate, especially dark chocolate and baking chocolate, can make dogs very sick and can even be fatal. But why? Chocolate contains the ingredient theobromine, the principal alkaloid of the cacao bean, which is toxic to your dog. While milk chocolate contains 44-64 mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate, unsweetened baking chocolate contains 450 mg of theobromine per ounce of chocolate, making it much more dangerous for your dog if ingested (Animal Health Foundation, 2012).
Chocolate is not the only toxic ingredient found in most candies. Many sugar-free candies contain xylitol, a sugar alcohol in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Even a small amount of xylitol can be fatal to dogs and cats. Be sure to safely store all of your candy in places your dog cannot access, and if you think your pet might have ingested heavy amounts of chocolate or any candy containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep your dog distracted from candy with some of our best-selling treats!
2. Turn Off Decorative Lights
Do you decorate the inside of your home for Halloween? Creating a fun, spooky atmosphere is a great way to put yourself in the festive feeling. Still, we recommend you turn off any indoor decorative lights or plug-in decorations to avoid incidents or fires while your pup is home alone.
3. Choose Doggy Costumes Wisely
Doggy Halloween costumes are adorable, especially if your dog enjoys wearing them! However, there are some best practices you should follow if you plan to dress them up:
- Don't choose a costume with potential choking hazards.
- Don't leave it on your dog while you're not home.
- Don't let your dog wear it at a dog park.
- Don't choose a costume that could cause your dog to get overheated.
4. Expose Them To Your Halloween Costume
Just like humans, dogs can recognize frightening faces that may startle them. If you have a Halloween mask you plan to wear around your dog, let them see and smell it first so that they know it's nothing to fear. Better yet, put on your mask/costume in front of them so they know it's just their favorite pet parent!
5. Carve Pumpkins Safely
So, your dog got into the pumpkin innards while you were making a jack-o-lantern, and now you're worried it may be toxic? Have no fear! Pumpkin is actually great for your dog's digestive health and is used in many dog foods, including our Grain-Free Land, Ocean, and Sky recipe dog foods. Pumpkin seeds are not toxic to dogs and are safe for them to eat in moderation, but since the seeds don't fully digest, only offer your dog a couple of seeds. Vetnique Labs recommends treating one pumpkin seed per 10 pounds of body weight.
6. Give Them Something To Chew On
Your dog may become stressed with trick-or-treaters running around and knocking on doors. To help calm their nerves and keep them distracted, give your dog something to chew on, like our classic Bully Sticks, Bully Braids, Collagen Sticks, or Peanut Butter Filled Bones.
7. Leave The Bowl of Candy Outside
If you know your dog will be overly stressed with trick-or-treaters knocking on your door and ringing your doorbell, it may be best to sit outside and wait for the trick-or-treaters to arrive or leave the candy bowl on your porch. Of course, losing all your candy to one kid is risky, but at least your pup will be relaxed!
We hope you and your family have a fun and spoOOooky Halloween! 🎃