Protecting Your Dog Over The Halloween Period
The run up to Halloween and indeed the night itself can be an exciting period for you, your friends and family but what about your dog?
Your dog doesn’t know why loud bangs from fireworks keep occurring, why the doorbell rings consistently or why there are shrill screams of delight as child after child in strangely confusing costumes appear out of nowhere.
Halloween can be a truly terrifying time for dogs. As a dog owner it is your responsibility to keep your pet safe this Halloween.
The Garda Post caught up with Corina Fitzsimons of Dogs Trust this week to find out the most efficient ways of ensuring your dog is looked after.
Ms Fitzsimons provided these warnings:
“Please, do not leave your dog alone outdoors during the Halloween period, scared dogs will make desperate attempts to escape and there is also the danger of him being injured by a stray firework.
“If your dog is terrified by fireworks, please speak to your vet as there are a number of anti-anxiety medications available that may help your dog get through this difficult period.
“Be extra careful when opening your front door as your dog may escape, if possible, try to ensure there is another closed door between your dog and your front door. Please also make sure that your dog is wearing a collar and an ID tag and that his microchip details are up to date via www.fido.ie in case he escapes.”
There are a few things you can do before the festivities really kick off to ease your dog into the mayhem that is Halloween. Ms Fitzsimons advises that providing a high carbohydrate meal in the late afternoon, combined with walking a dog before it gets dark may lead to your pet feeling more calm and sleepy when it comes to evening time.
Further precautionary measures could be creating a safe hiding place for your dog indoors.
“Provide a safe hiding place for your dog indoors, this could be as simple as a large cardboard box or a curtain or blanket draped over your kitchen table if you don’t have a dog crate.”
Many unfamiliar sights and sounds are the reasons why dogs become so distressed at Halloween. According to Corina, here’s how you can ease your dogs anxiety:
“The best thing to do is to keep your dog busy and occupied to prevent this from happening.
“Keep your dog busy with games, their favourite toys, chews and puzzle toys filled with food or treats, freezing can make them last longer.
“Close the curtains on your windows as many dogs are afraid of the flashing lights from fireworks, not just the noise they make. If your curtains don’t black out light, you can tape black bags to your windows.
“Turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out scary noises, dogs may find rhythmic music such as reggae music relaxing.”
For your dogs health and well-being keep all treats and sweets away.
“Chocolate, raisins, grapes and the sweetener xylitol are poisonous to dogs. If you suspect your dog has eaten anything he shouldn’t, please call your local veterinary practice immediately and always store their out of hour’s emergency number on your phone.”
Lit pumpkins could be hazardous so keep these out of reach of your dog. You don’t want to run the risk of them burning themselves or causing a house fire.