The humans here at Tully’s Training definitely enjoy a good scare around this time of year. However, our four-legged friends do not always agree with us. Here are some ways we can make sure our furry pals can enjoy their HOWLoween, as well!
Halloween Foods Your Dog Should Avoid
Chocolate: Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine which is toxic to dogs (and cats, too!). Dogs metabolize theobromine much more slowly than humans. It often causes diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, excessive urination, muscle spasms, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and yes, sometimes, death. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which can be fatal to dogs.
The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for your pets. (Baking and dark chocolate are the worst; however, if your dog ingests enough milk chocolate, it can also have these same effects.)
If you think or know your dog has ingested chocolate, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. They are always open, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
All the Candy: Sugar consumption in dogs can cause diabetes or obesity, just like in people. Many candies and gum are sweetened with the artificial sweetener xylitol, which causes an increase in insulin. This causes your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can possibly result in liver failure.
Also, most dogs will not take the time to unwrap a delicious candy treat! Wrappers and lollipop sticks can cause blockages and damage to internal organs.
Alcohol: If you are hosting a party, think twice about inviting that person who thinks it’s a great Halloween trick to pour a beer in your dog’s water bowl. Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, but since they are smaller, it doesn’t take as much. If your dog consumes too much alcohol, it can be fatal.
Pumpkins, decorative corn, or other decorative Halloween plants: These can cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed. Some dogs enjoy a bit of canned pumpkin now and then, but not the whole squash!
We don’t want your dog to be left out. Here are some healthy, delicious fall treats for your dog to enjoy:
- canned pumpkin
- sweet potatoes
- air-popped plain popcorn (no butter or salt, please!)
Best Costumes For Your Dog
You know your dog. Be realistic. If your dog cowers, licks her lips, yawns, or shows other signs of stress when you put clothes on them, do not dress them up. It’s not cute for them to act like this, it means they’re scared. That’s just not nice.
If your dog is a fashionista and loves nothing more than dressing up, go for it! Just make sure their costume fits properly (not too tight), does not impede their sight, and has no hanging bits and pieces that they might chew on and swallow.
→ If you are not sure how to tell if your dog is feeling stressed, check out our blog post on reading your dog’s body language.
Watch out for things like string lights, confetti, candles (this includes jack-o-lanterns), and fake cobwebbing that dogs may mistake for toys. If these things are chewed or ingested, they can cause electrocution, fire, bowel obstruction, and a myriad of other not-so-fun things.
Door Dashing and Fence Jumping
It’s best to keep your dog inside the house and away from the door on Halloween. Even if your pup would never run away under normal circumstances, there will be more doorbell ringing, knocking, and strange-looking creatures at your house than on any other night of the year! They may just want to chase those ghosts and witches away. Give your dog a tasty stuffed Kong or puzzle toy to work on in the other room, while you pass out candy!
Pranksters are out in full force at this time of year. If your dog is left out in the yard alone, there is a good chance they may jump the fence if a pesky jokester decides to smash a jack-o-lantern within close proximity. Keep your dog inside!
Also, triple check that your pet’s microchip information is up-to-date. Collars and tags fall off. Many lost dogs and cats have been found by a microchip scan. If your pet is not microchipped, most veterinarians and some animal shelters will provide this service for a minimal fee. Your furry family member is worth it!
Don’t take your dog trick-or-treating with you. Too many strange and stressful sights to see in one night! They would rather stay home and hold down the fort with a nice peanut butter bone while you and your two-legged kids go out for a night of scary fun!
Happy Halloween from all of us at Tully’s Training!