Halloween might be a fun time for kids and their families. But for dogs it can turn into a nightmare. To prevent mishaps, simply follow these basic steps.

1. Trick-or-Treat Candy Is Not For Dogs

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Do Not Leave Your Dog Outside In The Yard During Halloween

Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep Your Dog Restrained And Away From The Front Door

Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Make Sure That Halloween Pumpkins And Corn Are Out Of Reach

Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

5. Keep Lit Pumpkins Away From Your Dog

Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

6. Be Sure To Keep Wires And Electric Light Cords Out Of Reach

If chewed, your dog could cut him/herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

7. If You Dress Your Dog In A Costume, Be Sure They Love It

If you do decide that your dog needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark.

8. You Need To Have Your Dog Try The Costume Before The Big Night

If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

9. Have Proper Identification For Your Dog

Should your dog accidentally escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancyembedded microchips.

via pedmed | featured image pixabay

>>READ MORE: Peanut Butter Apples Dog Treats For Halloween

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