Trick, Treat or Terror!

The kids are excited, you’re exhausted, not only do you need to come up with amazing Halloween costumes, you’ve got deadlines at work, functions to attend and life is a whirlwind once again!

Although your dog doesn’t know what the event is coming up. they can sense the charge in the air and the excitement as that hallowed eve approaches.  Just imagine from your dog’s point of view what the night will look like.

All of a sudden their peaceful environment is shattered.  Mom and dad come home  rushing around like crazy, and of course, if your dog is like mine, you’ll be tripping all over him as they’ll always be sitting in a door way or lying at the bottom of the stairs.

Anyway, back to your dog’s experience.  He sees his beloved parents running around like crazy – probably eating chocolate bars for dinner – while trying to get their kids to eat something healthy before they start into their candy eating frenzy.

Noise levels increase – the kids are getting excited and getting louder and louder, their squeals turning into screams as they find out that, yes, they must wear their winter coat under their beautiful costume.

Then before the dog even knows what’s going on you’ll dress them in something that smells funny, is scratchy and strange and  then put something on their head and tell them to leave it on.  (I’m an offender, I love dressing Monty up – so I’m not pointing fingers – just saying!)


By now your dog is starting to wish that you’d all leave, and may be getting a tad stressed.  Then as the kids are rushed out with mom or dad peace and calm settles over the house and all is quiet, for  two minutes.  Then it starts, the door bell rings, over and over again…strange and frightening creatures, unlike any they’ve seen before, begin to appear at the door.  Do they defend the house?  Do they try to save their parent?  Do they hide?  Or do they turn to my own personal stress relief – and start scarfing down that bowl of chocolate that’s been left right at nose level?

Dogs With a Sweet Tooth

  • Chocolate can be lethal for dogs – the darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is for them.  What makes chocolate dangerous to dogs is the ingredient Theobromine and the darker the chocolate the more theobromine the chocolate contains.  Eating chocolate may cause vomiting and diarrhea, but can also be far more serious and even cause seizures, respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
  • Many people are not aware that Xylitol – a sweetener often used in sugar free gum is very toxic for dogs.  If a dog consumes some of this gum it impacts their insulin levels and after consumption the dog may experience a significant drop in blood sugar levels which can be very dangerous.  A full package of gum may be deadly to a large dog, while just a few pieces could be fatal to a small dog.  It can cause vomiting, seizures and liver failure.

Costumes for Your Dog

  • Make sure your dog doesn’t eat their Halloween costume – it’s probably not very dog friendly from a consumption point of view.
  • You may scare you’re dog by dressing them up especially if they’re not used to it – if they show signs of stress it’s not worth it.  However if you do wish to dress them up start weeks in advance using treats while putting on their costume so they associate it with something pleasurable.
  • Make sure you choose a costume they can move freely in and that they can see clearly.



Decorating Your House

  • Candles – if you use a candle to light your pumpkin make sure it’s in a place where your dog or cat can’t get to it and burn themselves or knock it over.
  • Cords and electrical wires – you may be stringing things up, or have electrical wires dangling in places where you typically don’t – use caution – can your pet get tangled up and choke themselves – or they may try to chew the wires.

Keeping Your Pets Close

  • Keep your dog inside for the evening – you want to be sure that your dog is safe inside – pranksters might think it’s a fun time to scare your dog – or even open up the gate and let them out.  Unfortunately it’s not always innocent fun on Halloween night.
  • Many people enjoy being frightened – dogs don’t – they don’t think it’s fun, they can go into a flight or fight mode when they feel frightened.  If your dog is frightened or nervous – keep them in a safe place away from the front door so they are not exposed to all the strange noise, sights and sounds.
  • If your dog is allowed to be near the door – make sure they have their identification tags on – just on the off chance that they may panic and bolt out the open door.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!





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