Five Tips to avoid a ‘Howl-oween’ on 31st October

With Halloween just around the corner, many will be looking forward to the prospect of tasty treats we are seeing advertised right now. However, please remember our four-legged friends can’t eat many of the treats enjoyed during Halloween. This holiday poses a number of health risks to dogs, from eating sweets and chocolate – which can be toxic to dogs, to being scared by trick-or-treaters in their scary costumes.

With this in mind, here are five important tips for ALL dog owners this Halloween to avoid something that might resemble a ‘Howl-oween’: –

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs, cats, rodents, and rabbits. Darker chocolate contains more theobromine is all the more dangerous. And don’t think white chocolate is ‘better’ because it still contains a little theobromine and can make your dog very sick.

Always call the vet if your dog has eaten chocolate and follow their expert advice.

Please remember other sweets are readily available during Halloween and these can also be dangerous if consumed by dogs. If eaten, dogs can develop pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas), which may cause them to go off their food and result in vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and go into organ failure.

Once again, always call your vet and follow their advice if this should happen,

2. Watch out for wrappers!

Be aware that sweet wrappers, small boxes and containers, lollipop sticks, and even parts of Halloween costumes and decorations risk causing an obstruction in your dog’s gut which will require veterinary intervention, and possibly even surgery.

Signs of an obstruction may include your dog not eating, vomiting, lethargy and not defecating or finding it difficult to defecate.

Please contact your local veterinary practice immediately if you see these symptoms.Finally, when you walk your dog after Halloween, pay extra attention to leftovers and wrappers on sidewalks and streets and don’t let your dog pick up any pieces that he can choke on or which are dangerous for him to eat. You may want to try walking in a less residential area which is more likely to have Halloween remnants and leftovers you don’t want your dog to have.

3. Candles in pumpkins

Keep all lit candles in your carved pumpkins out of the way of dogs and pets to avoid burns. Place any lit pumpkins on hard surfaces to ensure they can’t be easily reached or accidentally knocked over by your dog. You may want to consider using battery charged candles for your pumpkin instead.

4. Change ‘walkies’ time if possible

You might want to Consider walking your dog at a different time during Halloween. If your dog is usually walked at dusk, you could try to go out a little earlier, or a bit later, to avoid the peak-period for trick-or-treaters who could unintentionally frighten your dog or cause them unnecessary stress.

Please be aware that fireworks and Halloween gadgets and gizmos that make loud noises abound during Halloween, and loud bangs or bright lights can be frightening.

5. Be aware of children

Children especially enjoy Halloween, so it is important that you are aware of your dog’s reaction to children and can prepare accordingly. Equally it is important to be prepared for children wanting to touch your dog, which can cause stress, particularly if the children are in costume and super excited.

If you have any other tips, please feel free to comment and share them with us and the Seeing Dog community.