Carve the pumpkins and spookify the porch! Halloween is officially here! Yippee Ki Yay, mother-puppers!
If this is your first puppy Halloween, then it won’t be an ordinary holiday. In fact, we would go so far as to say your entire spooky season this year will have to be planned and executed differently. But hold the chainsaw massacre! We’re not talking about that kind of execution.
Or are we?
All joking aside, Halloween can pose unique dangers to your new puppy. But if you’re mindful, careful, and keep a close eye on your puppy, then All Hallows’ Eve will be a delight for you and your furry friend.
The team at Petland Kansas City put together some puppy safety tips that you can use, and they tie in nicely with National Animal Safety & Protection Month.
Let’s get this paw-ty started! Here are the five biggest safety tips for your puppy this Halloween.
Oh, and bonus points for whoever knows what movie we’re quoting in the first paragraph of this blog post! Yippee Ki Yay is actually from a Christmas movie, but that’s okay, because everyone knows that Christmas starts the day after Halloween, LOL.
Okay, the paw-ty starts… now.
DOUBLE, DOUBLE CONCOCTIONS THAT BUBBLE, HIDE THE CANDY TO AVOID ALL TROUBLE!
Easily the greatest danger to puppies is Halloween candy. You’re probably aware that many human foods are poisonous to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, avocados, and Xylitol, an ingredient in sugar-free gums and candies. But leading up to Halloween, you’ll have to be extra aware of where your Halloween candy is kept.
Unlike in normal, everyday life, the Halloween season simply brings more activities, parties, and chaos. Candy, even if the bag has never been opened, will be highly attractive to your puppy. If you’re planning on bringing a container of candy to work, for example, it’s important not to leave it out where your puppy can reach it while you’re rushing around to get out the door. Likewise, if you’re munching on chocolatey treats while watching a scary movie with your pup, don’t leave the plate on the coffee table when you go to use the bathroom.
This safety tip only gets complicated during Halloween parties. If you’re planning on hosting a party, be sure to make sure your guests know that candy poses a threat to your puppy, and ask them to be mindful not to leave their party plates unattended.
CAREFUL WITH THE PUP-KINS!
If you’re anything like us, nothing gets you in the Halloween spirit quite like carving spooky pumpkins! Ah, the memories of sitting outside in the crisp, autumn air, feeling the warm sunshine on your face, while your fingers grow chilled and chapped as you scoop out wet, slimy pumpkin guts! Maybe you’ll save the pumpkin seeds to roast in the oven later…
This year, considering that your new puppy will join you in all the festivities, we recommend that you set those carved pumpkins aglow with battery-powered lights instead of real candles. Open flames can be a fire hazard, period. But when you have a puppy in the mix, the risk of starting a fire goes up exponentially. Puppies are naturally curious, and given that orange pumpkins don’t look too different from toy balls, your puppy could get into some dangerous trouble if he tries to play.
We recommend that you use battery-powered lights or some other electronic option. It’s also a good idea to place your pumpkins up high so that your pup-kin doesn’t knock them around. And as an alternative to carving pumpkins, you could try buying pet-safe, non-toxic paint and painting your pumpkins instead!
DON’T LET HOWL-WEEN GIVE YOUR PUPPY THE HOWLS!
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Dogs do not like loud noises and music. Their sense of hearing is heightened which means that volumes that you and I can tolerate are simply too much for them. Repetitive loud noises and sustained loud music can cause anxiety, in fact. If you’re planning on throwing a party, you might want to forego the Halloween music, and go with some spooky ambient music, which can play softly to lend some mood to your social gathering.
Now, just because you use only the softest music doesn’t mean that your puppy won’t feel disturbed for this or that reason. This is why it’s so important to pay mindful attention to your furry friend and be able to recognize the early warning signs of anxiety in dogs so that you can comfort your pup before he feels overwhelmed.
Warning Signs of Anxiety in Dogs:
- Increased vigilance, i.e. your dog is acting alert and “on the lookout,” and begins to react badly to people
- Urinating or defecating indoors
- Excessive drooling, i.e. if your dog begins drooling more than normal
- Panting–this is a sign that your dog is going into distress
- Destructive behavior, i.e. chewing up pillows or door frames
- Excessive barking
- Pacing and restlessness
It’s a great idea to have a “quiet room” set up for your puppy with his crate prepared with blankets, stuffed animals, and treats, and be sure to lay out wee wee pads in case he has to go to the bathroom.
WITCHES & GHOSTS & GOBLINS, BE CAREFUL WITH THE COSTUMES!
Can we all take a moment right now to bask in the extreme cuteness of puppies in Halloween costumes? Awwwww! (Insert squeals of delight here) SOOOOOO CUTE!
Now that we got that out of our system…
Puppies are adorable, yes, and when you put your puppy in a costume, his little cuteness factor shoots through the roof. But the fact of the matter is that not all puppy Halloween costumes are created equal, and beyond that, even the best costumes for dogs on the market today might not be comfortable, or safe, for your puppy.
Some Halloween costumes might come with small, dangling accents or other details that could easily be chewed or torn off. These pose a choking hazard to your puppy, so be sure that you examine your costume options before you buy one for your new furry friend. You’ll also want to be absolutely sure that the costume will fit your puppy correctly. Poorly-fitting costumes can cause your puppy to trip or get caught on objects and furniture. Either could result in an injury.
Make sure the Halloween costume fits properly and doesn’t restrict your puppy’s movements, sight, or ability to breathe. For example, it might seem thrifty to cut a few holes in a white sheet and turn your puppy into a ghost, but if the eye holes are too small and his nose is covered with the material of the sheet, then this could cause physical or emotional distress.
The team at Petland Kansas City actually recommends that instead of leaving your puppy in his Halloween costume, you simply dress him up to take a few pictures and then take the costume off. That way, you’ll capture the memories without increasing the risk of anxiety or injury.
KNOCK, KNOCK. WHO’S THERE? ANOTHER STRANGER THAT’S FREAKING YOUR PUPPY OUT!
The final piece to the Halloween safety tips puzzle is all about who’s at the front door. Whether you’re planning on having a steady stream of Halloween party guests coming by all evening or you anticipate trick-or-treaters will ring the doorbell all night, the fact of the matter is that when there’s someone at the door, your puppy will be excited. If too many strangers come to the door over the course of hours, your puppy could get seriously freaked out to the point of feeling hyper-stressed.
So, what is your trick-or-treater plan? It’s a good idea to have one, or two for that matter, i.e. Plan A and Plan B. If your doorbell is especially loud, you might hang a sign that asks people to gently knock instead. Or you could leave a bowl of candy outside for trick-or-treaters to “take one.” Maybe you’ll be hanging out outside anyway to greet people. Whatever you decide to do, we recommend that you closely monitor your puppy and be prepared to change the plan if need be.
Are you heading into Halloween all by your lonesome? You don’t have to go it alone! Your dream puppy could be at our Overland Park location right now! Check out our available puppies and the breeds we place in loving fur-ever homes.