By Green Dog Pet Supply
Halloween can be fun, but there are a few important things to keep in mind to help keep pets safe.
Beware of Toxic Things on Halloween
Don’t forget to be on guard for dogs getting into that Halloween Candy stash! Chocolate isn’t the only thing that’s toxic to dogs; macadamia nuts, raisins, and especially the sweetener xylitol are all on the list of things that can be very poisonous and sometimes deadly to dogs. The wrappers and other decorations can also cause problems when ingested.
Make sure that if your dog is stressed out by strangers to have them in a secure area of the house where they won’t be plagued by constant scary monsters ringing the doorbell. Conversely, if you’re up for it this is a great time to work on door manners with a dog that isn’t frightened, just excited. The doorbell rings, dog on leash sits, door opens, dog and costumed kid both get their own treats. Lots of repetitions available on Halloween equals lots of chances to practice how to act when people come to the door.
-Practice this a day or two beforehand with someone familiar that rings the doorbell, rehearsing the routine 8 or 10 times of sitting quietly before the door opens, and staying calm with the help of treats to keep attention on you and reward the good behavior (the first time is hard, then it gets easier as they’re seeing the same person over and over. This lets the dog get better and better at the behavior because you’ve removed the novelty of someone at the door)
– work on a leash for control, but reward the sitting calmly without lots of yanking. Remember, the familiar person can hang out on the step for a few minutes while you work on achieving a sit or at least calm attention before you open the door. Perhaps switch places with your helper and practice the same way with you as visitor.
– On Halloween, have two people work the door, one for kid treats and one for working with the dog
– When the doorbell rings, don’t jump up. Walk calmly to the door, and practice these skills of staying calm while people are greeted.
If you have a new puppy this can be a good socialization exercise: monsters = good treats for puppy! First put on masks or hats several times in the few days before Halloween, but don’t act scary, just be yourself and encourage your puppy to come get treats and interact with you in this strange get-up. Do multiple repetitions at different times until your puppy isn’t reacting fearfully. On Halloween night, encourage them to say hi to the funny monsters, but don’t force them into it – you want socialization exercises to be positive. Offer your puppy really delicious treats like bits of cheese while they interact with the people in costumes, and if you feel like it’s safe, have the monsters offer the puppy some yummy dog jerky or pieces of cheese. Soon the puppy will think people in costumes are a good thing!
Other things to keep in mind:
– Make sure all of your pets are wearing i.d. tags, even your indoor cats. That door is opening and closing many times during that evening, giving opportunities for your pets to slip out.
– Watch out for candle flames – often there are decorations that might be novel to the pet who wants to investigate them.
– Keep indoor/outdoor cats inside for the night – you do hear strange and terrible stories sometimes of cats who are the victim of cruel treatment on this night.
check out this link to cute dog breed stencils for your pumpkin carving! Each one can be downloaded by clicking a link under the description.
We’re looking forward to seeing some of you in your costumes when you come trick or treating between 4-6pm!