Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families.
But for pets? Halloween can be a downright nightmare.
1. Tricks/ no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dressing in a costume for some pets can be very stressful. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana/festive collar.
6. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets. We recommend sitting outside on your porch during peak trick or treating hours to avoid all the door knocking and doorbell ringing that puts your dog on high alert.
7. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside. Seeing kids in costumes can be confusing. And having the doorbell ring constantly can cause stress.
8. MOST IMPORTANT TIP: IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
There are Three Steps to End Jumping
First, dogs jump because they get rewarded with petting and attention. So we need to realize when we reward the behavior and stop giving him/her the rewards. In fact, when they jump just ignore them.
Second, prevent him/her by controlling their environment from jumping with a leash and collar.
Last, instead of jumping to greet, teach him/her to sit for greeting. Make the dog sit and then give him/her attention. Your attention and petting is reward for sitting.