Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

The weather is changing (a.k.a. we've turned off the A/C -- sorry Northern friends) and the holidays are just around the corner. Hubby loves Halloween best of all and is in full decorating mode. Roxy is outside "supervising." I've done my part by NOT dusting. Yep, those are real cobwebs on the front porch. As fun as Halloween is for us, it can be a bit stressful for the dogs. Below are a few tips I've picked up over the years to help keep my dogs safe and happy.
  • Keep candy away from the dogs. This includes the kids' treat bags. Pepper chewed the bottoms out of several candy filled pillow cases in her time. Chocolate (my favorite!) can be lethal. So can xylitol, a sweetener found in sugar-free gum and candy. Sugar is not good for dogs either.
  • Supervise dogs around decorations. Dogs can sometimes be too curious for their own good! Just yesterday we had two Halloween-related incidents. First, Roxy's costume got caught on the graveyard fence after taking this picture. She panicked and ended up dragging the fence across the yard. Poor thing. Shortly thereafter, we bought a cute blow-up pumpkin. Roxy found the noise very interesting and I have no doubt that she would have chewed the fan out of the pumpkin if Hubby hadn't intervened.
  • Watch your jack-o-lanterns. They're not toxic, but you don't want the pups eating your pumpkin goo when you're carving. Too much pumpkin can upset a doggy stomach. You want to make sure dogs don't knock them over either, especially if you use candles to light them.
  • Lock the dogs in a back room on All Hallows Eve. The constant flow of costumed children was always too much for my dogs. Whenever possible, we sit on the front porch so that kids don't ring the doorbell. If your dogs still get too wound up, talk to your vet about dog-safe sedatives.
  • Not all dogs like costumes. Sometimes a festive bandanna is all a dog is willing to wear. If you're going to dress the dogs up, make sure that costumes don't hinder their movement or vision. My dogs never minded costumes as long as their ears weren't covered.
  • Make sure dogs wear collars and tags -- even under costumes. This is my inner ACO speaking. With all the commotion of the evening, there is a chance that someone can slip out unnoticed. If that happens, you want to make sure your pets are returned right away. In fact, go and check everyone's tags right now. Are they legible? Are the phone numbers correct? If not, please get new tags right away.

Roxy and I wish you a Safe and Happy Halloween!

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