Trick-or-treating is fun for kids but not for many dogs, especially senior dogs. Our dog, she loves little ones when we are out walking, and we'll stop and have a happy moment. But, a strange looking shadowy shape that is waving its arms, in low light, is another story.
Our dog is older, and her eyesight is going. She goes bump in the night, every night. Dogs with limited vision, hearing or mobility, are probably happiest away from the action. We certainly run extra interference for our dog on Halloween. We don't want her to accidentally spook a child, nor do we want her to get scared so that she feels even more protective of us, and the house.
Daylight encounters between dogs and kids in costumes, can be safely handled by aware parents. We see that in our neighborhood, with one parent watching the stroller, while the other handles the toddler. However, here are the best five tips to consider that we have learned over the years:
- Pumpkins are delicious when cooked and put into your dog's dinner, but the jack-o-lantern with its candle flame if it is low enough for an excited swipe of a tail or paw, can turn dangerous.
- Noisy young people goofing around in costumes, can make even a mellow dog aggressive or just scared. Pay extra attention to your four-legged buddy, and just to be safe, make sure their ID tags are attached, before letting them into the yard. If they are microchipped, ensure you have the contact information and know what their microchip number is, in case they get spooked and manage to slip away.
- Many of us live with our front doors facing a busy street or a dark suburban landscape. Avoid the spooked pet - before opening the door for trick-or-treaters, keep Fido safely behind a secure door until your front door is completely closed.
- This time of year also brings discarded candy wrappers and scraps from costumes, both could be choking hazards for pets. Chocolate can also be deadly for dogs - the theobromine and caffeine can be toxic for dogs and cats.
- Keep the telephone number of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center—(888) 426-4435—as well as that of your local veterinarian, in a prominent location.
Happy Halloween! We'll be spending it trying to not give Cleo too many treats, for every cute trick. The holidays are around the holiday, and her birthday, we need to make sure she keeps her weight in check.