Halloween Safety Tips from the AKC

Thanks to the AKC for these helpful Halloween safety tips. Here are a few of my own: Use battery-operated candles instead of the real things....

Joy  |  Oct 21st 2007


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Thanks to the AKC for these helpful Halloween safety tips.

Here are a few of my own:

Use battery-operated candles instead of the real things. You can get the flickering effect without the fear of something catching on fire.

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If you have people in costume in your home or around your Dogster, keep a close eye on your dog for his or her reaction. People in costume can be scary or alarming to dogs because of the unusual clothes or even the way the people move or act. Remember, dogs watch human movement for signs that they should be wary or more protective. Your costumed friends could be completely unaware that they are sending bad signals to your dog.

Oh, and have fun! Check out the rest of the Dogsters and Catsters celebrating Halloween by checking out the photos tagged “Halloween.”

Halloween Safety Tips

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Dressing a dog in a costume may seem over-the-top to some, but with Halloween just around the corner, the American Kennel Club (AKC) surveyed dog owners to learn first-hand just how many plan to turn their Fido into a Frankenstein for the evening. It turns out that one in 10 dog owners can’t imagine not dressing up their pup for the holiday and nearly half (49 percent ) admitted liking the idea.

The poll also found that women are six percent more likely than men to dress their pups up for all holidays, while men are 12 percent more likely than women to wonder why anyone would ever consider dressing their dog in the first place.

But, the trick is not to treat Halloween as just another day for your dog. Whether your dog dons a frightening frock or not, the AKC reminds owners to follow certain guidelines for keeping your pet safe during Halloween:

If you dress your pet up in a “doggie” costume, supervise him at all times. Make sure it fits properly and is not in the way of his breathing, eyesight or hearing. If your dog swallows any elastic or decorative items, it could cause intestinal obstructions or choking. For more tips on how to acclimate your dog to wearing a Halloween costume visit the Ask AKC archive here.

Chocolate and sweets can be dangerous for your dog. A dog’s digestive system is not adapted for sweets, and chocolate contains Theobromine, which can be harmful and sometimes fatal to your dog. Baking chocolate is especially high in this chemical.

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Walk your dog early on Halloween, while it is still light outside. Your dog may find candy, wrappers and broken eggs on lawns and streets. Make sure that these “tempting treats” stay out of reach.

Children in costumes can frighten dogs. Make sure pets are in a safe and secure room when you answer the door to prevent them from running out, getting hurt and frightening your visitors.

If you want your dog to greet trick-or-treaters, keep him on leash. Your dog may be stressed by the noise, activity or simply the interruption of his normal routine.

Don’t leave your dog unattended outside on Halloween, even if he is behind a fence. Pranksters may target your dog with eggs, and passersby may be tempted to give your dog harmful treats and candy.

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If you are having a Halloween party, consider confining your dog securely in one area of the house. Leave a radio or TV and lights on for the dog.

Be careful about where you place candles and Jack-o-Lanterns. They can easily be knocked over by your dog’s wagging tail and either burn your dog or start a fire.