Halloween is upon us once again. It’s tons of fun; homes are decorated in hopes of scaring little children dressed up as angels, pumpkins, and vampires, and who could forget the CANDY!
Unfortunately, Halloween is also one of the most dangerous time of the year for our pets and the busiest for Pet Poison help lines and veterinarians who typically see a 12 percent spike in calls over the holiday. Most often, the calls are due to food related Halloween hazards like chocolate, raisins, and candy wrappers which are incredibly dangerous for dogs.
As parents (of the human and canine kind), it is important to sit down with your children and talk to them about the importance of keeping candy off the floor and out of reach of pets before they go out to collect their bounty.
What can you do to protect your dog on Halloween?
Here are some tips to help thwart accidental ingestion and teach your kids to not leave candy where dogs can get to it.
Encourage your children to keep all candy in a bag, basket, or bucket. Although unhealthy, dogs will go to great lengths to get chocolate and other candy (just like your kids).
Explain to children the importance of keeping all candy in one place and to be sure to throw empty wrappers in the garbage rather than leaving them lying around.
Create a labeled space on the kitchen counter or dining room table specifically for your child’s candy bucket. When they get back from trick-or-treating the bucket should be placed in the proper location and not just sitting on the floor.
If your dog is a jumper, it’s best to hide candy on top of the refrigerator or a high cabinet far out of reach. Avoid low cabinets as your pooch will simply smell it and open the door with their head or paw. (make sure there are no steps or stacked boxes that would allow your pet a path to the candy). High cabinet storage will also help you monitor the sugar intake of your children especially if candy is out of their reach.
In the event that no high hiding spots are available, keep the candy in a different location every day. This will confuse your dog and hopefully encourage them to give up.
Explain to your child the dangers chocolate and other foods like raisins could be to your dog. Chocolate and some sugar-free mints, raisins, and gum will make dogs very sick and, of course, there is always a choking hazard from both the candy and their wrappers.
Have plenty of dog treats on hand; this way kids can feed Fido a treat when they have one keeping everyone happy. It will also help avoid any bad feelings or sharing of treats from the candy bucket.
Most importantly, tell your kids that if they see their pet eating anything they shouldn’t (candy or otherwise), to let you know immediately, so that you can call a veterinarian if needed.
These tips will help keep the whole family happy and healthy this Halloween.
Be sure to share any other safety tips you may have below.