Taking Your Dog Trick Or Treating
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla is the managing partner at Hinsdale Animal Hospital with Kremer Veterinary Service, as well as a partner at CARE Animal Emergency Hospital. She received her BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, where she also completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She is AO certified, USDA-APHIS accredited, and is a member of the CVMA, ISVMA, AVMA.
Halloween is a time for families to get together and enjoy all that the season has to offer. Of course when we talk about a family, thankfully for most people, that includes dogs. Many people love to take their animals out with them when they go trick or treating, but it’s important to be prepared so that everyone, including your four legged friends, have fun. Here are some great tips on how to take your dog trick or treating.
Pack For the Trip
If you plan to have your dog join you for all hallows eve, it’s very important to bring everything she will need including water, snacks and chew toys. If your dog is a puller or lunges, there will be plenty of inspiration to do it on Halloween night. Instead of a collar, put a supportive harness on her so she will not risk a neck injury. Because the harness goes around the whole body, you will have much more control over her movements too.
Do You Need An Escape Plan?
Halloween can be taxing for people and animals too. It’s essential to remember that dogs often have short attention spans and may grow bored about half way through the night’s festivities. If you find that your pooch is getting restless, irritable or down right anti-social, it’s time to bring her home. Try to bring another adult with you during trick or treating, so if one of you needs to take the dog home, the other person can continue on with the children.
Candy, Candy, Candy
Keep in mind there is going to be a lot of temping food around that dogs cannot eat and the main offender on Halloween night is chocolate. Candy made from chocolate can be deadly to dogs, especially smaller ones, so it’s critical that your pooch doesn’t get a hold of any accidently. Sugar free candies are also poisonous, so you need to keep an eye on your dog at all times while trick or treating. Be aware that where there are small children, there is bound to be spilled candy on the ground. Likewise, there will be candy wrappers and packaging strewn about that your dog will want to investigate. Steer clear of these because they pose a risk for GI obstruction if they are eaten. And remember to stay extra cautious at night because it might be difficult to see your dog what your dog picks up off the ground.
Dogs Dressed Up for Halloween
There are few things cuter than an animal that is dressed up for Halloween and nothing more entertaining for people. Whether we dress the dogs as our favorite cartoon character, a ballerina or this year’s hot super hero, it’s very important that we make sure the costume is safe and appropriate. As you fit your pet with an outfit for the night, be sure that she can move and breathe freely in it. Costumes that are too tight can prevent your dog from walking correctly or could restrict her breathing. Examine the costume to make sure there are no dangly pieces that may be easily swallowed because these could cause GI obstruction. Remember that your dog didn’t choose to get dressed up – you did, so it’s important that she’s comfortable and able to move around properly.
Having your favorite pooch participate in Halloween can be fun for everyone, including your pet. There will be are a lot of unusual sights, smells and sounds that special night, so make sure that your animal can handle it in a healthy way. By keeping her away from candy, having a plan to take her home if the night gets to be too much and bringing along water, you will be well prepared. If you plan on dressing your dog up in a costume, make sure she can move and breathe freely in it. For more information about Halloween safety tips, click here.
Trick or Treat!
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