Hallowe’en … trick or treat(ment at the vet)?

halloween dog ben-hanson

(Photo: Ben Hanson)

Hallowe’en is now a major fun date in the calendar for adults as well as children – but make sure that celebrations don’t put your pet in danger or cause it distress.

There is a growing trend of dressing up dogs for all sorts of occasions – including Hallowe’en but you should only think about doing this if your dog enjoys it.  (There’s nothing ‘fun’ about a miserable, confused dog.)

Be led by your pet – some dogs are happy to wear outfits  – but if your dog seems at all distressed, then don’t force it to dress up!

If your dog doesn’t mind becoming a spook or a ghoul, then take care not to use any headpieces which could cause an eye injury if clawed off – and don’t leave your dog unattended in costume in case it decides to make a meal of plastic pieces in the outfit.

Never seen a dog in a hallowe’en outfit? There is a huge range available online – although we certainly wouldn’t recommend some of them due to small parts etc.

But there are some cute designs that are basically “coat style” which can be fun – if your pet agrees.

Check out this pumpkin pattern coat!

If there are people in outfits which might worry your dog – long flowing capes, monkey suits etc – it might be best to leave your dog in a quiet room.

Trick or treaters may well knock at your door – and these days, they are often accompanied by special effects such as laughing skulls or light-up broomsticks. It is best to make sure your dog is not at the door in case he rushes outside in panic. (But it’s wise to ensure he is wearing a collar with identity tag just in case!)

Pumpkin lights are still a traditional favourite for children – and often used as room decoration too. If your pumpkin has a candle inside, keep it away from pets (cats included) in case they get burned – or knock it over and start a fire.

Sadly, as with Bonfire Night, there are often pranksters about so make sure your dog isn’t outside alone – and try to ensure he gets his walk before dark. Although it’s Hallowe’en, there are already lots of noisy fireworks going off.

Finally, if you have children or guests are in the house, they may be enjoying chocolate and other treats. Make sure they don’t offer chocolate to your dog because it can be poisonous and make sure the dog can’t get to discarded foil and plastic wrappers which could be a choking hazard.

However, some Hallowe’en favourites can be good for your dog.  Cooked pumpkin (not the skin) can help with weight loss since it’s low in calories so if your pet is overweight, you can replace some of its food with cooked pumpkin to help him to feel full.

Pumpkin seeds, dried in the oven, are also a good treat but introduce any new foods slowly to avoid upsetting your dog’s digestive system and if your pet has any health issues, always check with your vet before changing his food.

And be sure to have a spooktacular night!

halloween -heftiba

Off having a coffin break : Toa Heftiba


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