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Halloween Hazards

It's getting close to Fright Fest. This year I thought it might be fun to dress up my dog Sophie in a costume. This was an excellent idea as I found a perfectly adorable prisoner's outfit that says Bad Dog across the back. Since her nickname is Bad Black (she is all black and often bad), I thought this was perfect! However, Sophie was not too keen on the idea. While she allowed me to put all four of her limbs through the appropriate parts of the costume, she went crazy as soon as I let go of her. So although the outfit was quite fitting, Sophie was having none of it. This is the demonstration of knowing your dog’s limits. There is not any way to talk a dog into enjoying something and a slow introduction is best. If you want to dress your dog up, start simple with a bandana or a festive collar. Don’t go for the full outfit on the first try!

Keep the treats out of reach. Dogs love sweets and will try and steal their share of the candy. Chocolate is toxic in large quantities and sugarfree gum containing xylitol can be toxic even in very small amounts. In addition, consuming a large quantity of high fat sweets can trigger an upset stomach or even pancreatitis, a life-threatening irritation of the pancreas.

If you are going out trick or treating, consider leaving your dogs at home. Crowds of people, often dressed in unusual or scary costumes, can cause your dog to act in unexpected ways. If your dog gets scared and runs off, he may get injured. If he bites someone out of fear, this is a liability that can have serious consequences. Let him stay home in his safe environment.  Cats should also be kept indoors as Halloween gets close. Black cats are sometimes caught and harmed because of the mystery surrounding these creatures. Don’t take a chance with your precious family member.

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