Halloween is going to the dogs! Each year the holiday becomes more and more popular not only with adults and children, but their pets as well. Actually it's really not the pet that loves to dress up as much as it is the pet's owner that gets the final say. Who doesn't love to see a dog dressed in drag on Halloween night, but it's not for all dogs. Some pet Halloween costumes can pose safety and health hazards, so think twice before dressing up your dog. It should not constrict the pet's movement or hearing or impede his ability to breathe or bark. The costume should be flame retardant and it's important to remove any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed. You know your pets personality, if they're happier going in their "birthday suit" than so be it.
Halloween can also be a very frightening time for pets. We've all heard of safety tips for your children, but did you know there are safety tips for your pets too? Each year veterinarians nationwide see pet injuries that could have been avoided. Here are some ways to help keep your pet safe and stress-free on Halloween:
- Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you're giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars.
- Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date I.D. collar and tag and/or a microchip.
- If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises or a habit of excessive parking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive.
- Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, or whatever comforts the animal. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.
- Always keep dogs and cats indoors. In addition to the parade of trick-or-treaters frightening and agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings and pet thefts.
- No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not your pets. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is and the smaller the lethal dose. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous as well causing choking or intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
- Explain to your children how dangerous treats are to pets. Take the candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.
- Make sure pets can't reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments. By following these simple safety rules, your dog will be safe this Halloween.
Anna Bradford is an author and blogger for Halloween Express where you'll find the absolute largest selection of [http://www.halloweenexpress.com/]Halloween costumes and costume accessories available anywhere including the latest [http://www.halloweenexpress.com/pet-costumes-c-113.html]Pet Costumes.
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