Halloween Costume Safety for Dogs

Halloween Costume Safety for Dogs

If you take your dog with you on your Halloween rounds – consider some basic safety factors. Many of the following tips, by the way, should also apply to you. Be safe this Halloween.

Be Highly Visible. Make sure the costume is very reflective so that your pet can be easily seen by drivers. You can buy reflective tape at your local bicycle department and add strips to the costume.

Use Fireproof Materials. Your pet may pass by a lot of candles and lit jack-o-lanterns. Make sure that the costume is fireproof. Make sure his swishing tail is safely out of reach.

No Loose Parts. Make sure there are no loose parts on the costume that your pet can eat. Objects such as loose fabric or buttons can become lodged in the intestines causing an obstruction. Also, loose parts can cause your pet to trip or become tangled in the costume, resulting in fear and anxiety and a future dislike of this holiday.

Not Too Tight. Make sure that the costume is not too tight. You should be able to get two or three fingers between your pet and any fabric or tie that goes around your pet, especially around the neck.

Not Too Hot or Heavy. Your pet could overheat if the costume is too hot or too heavy. Take special care to check his level of comfort several times during the evening. Excessive panting or falling behind should signal you to quit.

Use Your Leash. Your pet may become frightened or spooked by loud or unusual sounds. On the other hand, he or she may also want to run to play with kids or other pets. Keep your pet on a leash. Many pets must make the trip to local emergency clinics after being hit by a car on Halloween evening.

Take Your Own Treats. Pets often want to partake in the "goods," which may not be good for him. Chocolate can be toxic, and other candies can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Take some pet treats with you so he can get his own kind of "goodie" during the evening.

Listen To Your Pet. If your dog really doesn't like to wear a costume, don't force him. Even if he looks really cute, forcing a dog to do something he does not wish to do can result in some bad behaviors and future conflicts.

Practice. Get your pet used to the costume you have selected. Have him wear it several times before the actual day. He will be so busy watching all the Halloween activities that he should not have to worry about some strange new piece of clothing.

For dogs that want to join in but really don't care for constricting costumes, consider non-toxic paint. You can use face paint to color your dog, make him spotted or striped, for example. He still is in costume and can join in.

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