Dogs love to celebrate with us but please make sure they are safe when they do their celebrating. Here are some things I would give my training classes to consider during the Halloween season.
1. Make sure your dog is not terrified or upset when wearing a costume. Just make sure they like it and are having fun.
2. Make sure your dog has ID tags on his collar that give your phone number and a place to return him to you. So many dogs end up in the pound because they have become frightened, the door has opened and they escape. If they have the ID tag they can be reunited with their loving families and not end up in animal control, where most of the animals are killed.
3. Chocolate - I know so many of you will say, my dog eats chocolate all the time and is fine. But in reality they are not fine. Chocolate contains a simple chemical called "Theobromine". When theobromine is ingested by an animal it affects are horrific on the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. This has a very harsh effect on the animal's body causing severe trauma and oftentimes death. The amount necessary for a 30 lb dog to begin to experience effects are as small as 100 milligrams. Best rule is to never give your dog chocolate.
4. Similar to #3 is the wrappings or sticks often found in other candy. Best thing is not to allow your dog near the candy dish, and make sure that he is safe from candy dropped on the paths and sidewalks as he is walked on his leash outside.
5. Don't let an animal become tangled in decorations or get near a pumpkin that has a candle inside. If they eat the candle the wax will stick in their systems and the wick will tangle in the intestines and that little piece of metal at the bottom will slice their mouth and stomach and intestines. Bad scene, even for Halloween!
6. Keep your dog safely away from open doors that he could escape through. Don't allow trick or treaters access to your cat or your dog. Many animals are victims of cruelty during Halloween. Many shelters do not adopt out black animals in the month of October for this reason.
Have a great Halloween, but beware! The Bassets will be out trick or treating!