Things every dog owner should know to keep their pet safe this Hallowe'en:

Halloween is fun for many people, but the fireworks have already started in our area, and some pets’ stress levels are building as the evening approaches.

These are things every dog owner should know to keep their pet safe this Hallowe’en.

Some dogs find unfamiliar people approaching the front door stressful. If your dog does, arrange to have your dog stay with a friend in a quiet location or keep your dog occupied in a separate room with some chew toys he loves.

Some dogs find the costumes and neighborhood activity disturbing or even frightening, so keep them in and away from the bustle.

Frightened dogs may be inclined to run away, so be sure:

  • they are wearing current and clear identification in case of escape

  • they are wearing reflective gear, so they are visible

  • you have recent, high-resolution photos of your pet in case they go missing

  • you have the numbers of local vets, SPCA, animal control, and kennels in case you need to look for your pet

Sociable dogs may enjoy the festivities with their owners. Be sure the dog is:

  • is wearing id as described above

  • is wearing a tracking device

  • is leashed and visible to traffic

Some owners might want their dog to wear a costume. Please make sure that it is comfortable, that the dog can see, hear and smell accurately and that it does not affect their mobility. Please also be sure the dog is conditioned to wearing the costume and has associated it with rewards!

Candy is traditionally a large part of Halloween, but chocolate and sweetener xylitol products are poisonous to dogs. A tiny amount of xylitol (a stick of gum, for example) can quickly kill a large dog, and it is in many products.

Be cautious with scavenger hunts and or bowls of candy that might be left at the end of a driveway this year. Novel pieces of costumes can also be hazardous to dogs if ingested. Keeping these items out of the reach of dogs will help avoid an emergency trip to the vet.

For pets that find Halloween very stressful, there are products to help.

Enlist the help of your vet, who can recommend supplements or prescribe pharmaceutical products if a pet needs them.

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