Five tips ways to keep Halloween a treat and safe for your dog
The annual ritual of “Trick or Treat” can be great fun for kids, when properly supervised.There are dangers out there. Unseen cars because masks limit a child’s vision ability, unruly older kids and ‘too much party’ adults roaming around along with the youngsters, the ‘we hear it every year’ story of someone handing out tainted treats. But one factor not mentioned enough is the threat of dog attacks.
Parents always worry about safety for their children on Halloween, and as a ‘pet parent’ you need to be concerned about your four-footed buddy too! So when the streets of San Jose are full of all sorts of ghosts, goblins, monsters and pets:
– it’s is a two way street (so to speak). Parents who walk along with their children on Trick or Treat need to protect their child from wayward dogs. On the other hand, dog parents need to be mindful of their dog’s perceived threat from Trick or Treaters. I say perceived, because dogs tend to be fiercely protective of their territory and pack ( your home and your family). They have no concept of why all these strangers are suddenly appearing on your stoop and ringing your doorbell and shouting at you every time you , for some reason your buddy just doesn’t grasp, open your door to them. This repeated invasion can be a source of real stress for dogs.
Five Suggested ways to prevent Halloween problems.
I mentioned wayward dogs above. Loose, unattended dogs endangers both the children AND the dog ( same reasons, such as cars, etc). A loose dog can become easily frightened by the mobs of strange wanderers and may bite from this fear.
o Suggestion One. Make sure your dog is safely contained on Halloween night ( any night actually).This means if your dog is an outside dog (fenced, chained, etc) consider bring him into the house for the duration.
o Suggestion Two: Keep your indoor dog in an area where access to your front door is restricted. If he can’t reach the door ( and kids), there can’t be an incident.
o Suggestion Three: Designate “door duty” to specific family members while at least one of you remain to calm and comfort your dog when the doorbell rings. Unless your dog can only be comforted by specific person, this duty can be rotated so everyone has a chance to enjoy the show at the door and take care of your pet.
o Suggestion Four: Limit the amount of time you allow Trick or Treaters to come to your door. If, regardless of what you try to keep your buddy calm fails,turn off the porch lights early.
o Suggestion Five: Don’t allow Trick or Treaters to approach your door. Either place a bowl of treats well away from your stoop (along the walkway but nearer to the street than your house) with a nice note to “Please Only Take One Treat” ( good luck with that) OR, consider having some fun yourself – get into costume, stand by the sidewalk and hand-out treats to passing marauders.
Oh heck, why stop there? Here’s a few more tips. Let’s make sure Halloween is a safe and fun time for all concerned.
Just in case you poochie does freak out and escapes the yard or manages to scoot out the front doors passed all those scary ghouls on your porch:
o Make sure your dog has his/her collar on – with a current ID tag ( your name, address and current telephone number all up to date!). Also consider getting an ID implant at your vet or local shelter. These really, really work.
o Pet-Proof Your Decorations
When decorating your home for Halloween, keep loose wires, open flames, decorations, and Jack-o-lanterns out of your pets’ reach. Dogs (and them holiday appropriate cat things) are curious creatures by nature. All those new objects in your house attract their attention and potentially cause harm if they decide to take an explorary lick, bite or paw to them.
o NO Chocolate! NO Xylitol!! NO Candy!!!Let me say that again:
!!!NO Chocolate !!!Check back Sunday. I’m posting an article on something every consciousous pet owner should be aware of: the dangers candy impose on the canine digestive system.
Oh, And one more, from me personally – See today’s photo with all the dogs dolled up in cute trick or treat outfits? -Please don’t do that to your dog! Allow your pup to maintain his canine dignity!
Have any good suggestions on pet holiday concerns? Please send them to me to share with everyone.
Wrapping my arms around all things Dog