Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year, but it can be nightmarish for pets. If you have a dog at home and are worried about its safety, here are some handy tips for you to observe during the holiday season:

1)  No candy should ever be given to your dog. Candy and chocolate is strictly for trick-or-treaters, not for animals. Why? Because chocolate and sweet candies can be critically dangerous to domesticated pets such as cats and dogs. If you have reason to believe that your pet has mistakenly ingested candy or chocolate, you should contact the Poison Center of the ASPCA immediately. Keep pumpkin and corn away from pets. Even though these foods aren’t traditionally considered to be harmful to dogs, they can possibly cause your pet’s stomach to be irritated.

2)  If you are creating or buying a Halloween costume for your dog, make sure that it doesn’t have any dangling threads, fibers, or bits that can be chewed off easily.  Loose pieces could entice your pet to chew and swallow things and also could get caught in objects as it moves.

3)  More importantly, don’t force your pet into a costume if it is more than evident that it is uncomfortable playing ‘dress-up’. If your dog is alright wearing a Halloween costume, go out of your way to make certain that the attire is comfortable, anti-allergenic, and allows for easy breathing.

4)  Halloween lighting cords and wires must be arranged neatly and kept away from the reach of both pets and children. Loosely hanging wires and decorations, if chewed on or tampered with, can cause fires in extreme cases or lead to burns and cuts.

5)  Halloween is an occasion that sees many a doorbell ringing continuously. This can agitate some pets, and some dogs may actually bolt out of the front door when their owners open it. To prevent this, keep your pet in a room that’s away from the front door so that it doesn’t get excited seeing so many strangers at once. Leave it with a few favorite toys and leave the radio or television on.

6)  Also strap on a collar around your dog’s neck and ensure that it has the contact information of both you and your veterinarian, in case of an unfortunate mishap. If your pet is microchipped, see to it that the information in the chip is updated.

7)  If you decide to take your dog out for trick or treat trips, keep it on a short leash so that it doesn’t get into fights with other animals or harm the people it will possibly encounter.

8)  Halloween jack-o-lanterns and lit candles must be kept at a safe distance from all pets since the flames can be a threat to their safety and well-being. You can also alternatively use flameless candles so that your curious canine doesn’t get burned if it gets too close.

The above mentioned tips can go a long way in keeping your beloved dog safe during Halloween. Contact your nearest animal shelter for other holiday season tips for pet safety and security.

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