Halloween is a fun spooktacular holiday but it can bring a lot of stress and risks to your dog, especially if your dog has a special needs condition. A Special needs dog is any dog that requires above the normal dog care due to a medical condition such as epilepsy, diabetes, etc. A dog doesn’t have to have a medically diagnosed condition to be a special needs dog. Some dogs have separation anxiety, high stress and other personality conditions that may make them fearful pups of All Hallows Eve. But if you know your dog and use common sense you can ensure his safety and peace of mind.
Many dog owners want to dress their furry best friends up in costumes but have you thought about the safety factors of the costume? Be sure that your dog is cute and safe this year by following the following pet costume safety tips:
1. Collar with current tags and medical alert tag if applicable- No costume should result in the removal of tags no matter how adorable it is. Even if you plan to be with your dog all evening you could still get separated.
2. Easily visible- When trick-or-treating in the streets this applies to humans as well as dogs!
3. Easy Movement- Costume should not limit movement.
4. Is this the best costume for your dog? Know your dog. Is this safe for him? My dog has epilepsy so I always take his condition into account. Be smart and think! You know best.
If you decorate your home for Halloween don’t forget to use pet friendly Halloween decorations.
1. If you plan to play music or sounds from the windows, never open them wide enough for your dog to slip out.
2. Avoid doormats with sounds. These often scare dogs that are already afraid of visitors at the door.
3. Do not leave candy around the house.
Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. If your dog digests too much of this substance or even a little bit but has a reaction it can affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. Below is a list of some symptoms to watch for if you know or suspect that your dog got into some of that chocolate Halloween candy waiting for those trick-or-treaters.
Increased heart rate
If you believe your dog is sick from eating chocolate then you need to take him to the vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Learn more here.
You can learn more about easy, owner friendly dog care in “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog.” So many dog owners are caring for their dogs by easy, common sense methods. My book, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” shares such tips, along with inspirational stories of owners making it work. “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” may be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. A PDF copy may be purchased here and is accessible to anyone with a computer. A percentage of the profits from “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.
Subscribe to the Special Needs Dog Care Examiner for advice and tips on how to care for a special needs dog from an owner of a special needs dog. For story ideas, email her at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter and her website.