Welcome to Four Paws Up!, the newsletter of The Happy Dog Spot.

As we move into the busy holiday season, we want to make sure that we take steps to keep our pets safe and healthy. Just around the corner is Halloween, which can be a lot of fun for kids -- but can be scary and even dangerous for pets.

This month's article will give you some tips to help make sure your pet is safe and secure this Halloween.

I hope you find this information to be useful, and that it supports you in making the best decisions about your dog's care and well being.

Here's hoping that all dogs are happy dogs.

In this Issue:

Trick or Treat: Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe this Halloween

Reminders that Halloween is just around the corner are just about everywhere. Fake cobwebs hang from trees and bushes. Pumpkins adorn people's doorsteps. Jack-o-lanterns glow from windows. Grocery stores are once again featuring those jumbo-size bags of candies.

Halloween pet safety tips - dog with bandana

But as fun, festive – and tasty – as Halloween can be for kids and even adults, it can be a dangerous time for pets. The following Halloween pet safety tips will help ensure that your pooch (or kitty, of course) stays safe during this ghoulish time of year.

Keep the candy out of reach.
Halloween candy poses several perils for pets. For starters, chocolate can be deadly for dogs. Chocolate and chocolate-related products contain caffeine and theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. Both caffeine and theobromine are nervous system stimulants. Since dogs metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans, they are highly susceptible to theobromine poisoning. We humans might love our chocolate, but dogs and chocolate are a potentially deadly match.

Halloween candy can also contain other potentially lethal foods for pets, including raisins, macadamia nuts and the artificial sweetener Xylitol. So, while you might be tempted to delve into a big bag of Halloween sweets, keep them far away from the furry kids in the house.

For more foods never to feed your pet, check out our article on toxic foods for dogs.

Keep pets away from Halloween decorations.
The flame glowing in that jack-o-lantern might look pretty, but it can turn into a disastrous fire near an inquisitive pet. In addition, pets can choke on some Halloween decorations, such as streamers or those fake cobwebs mentioned earlier.

Keep pooches safely indoors.
On Halloween night, my husband and I always play “tag team”. One of us will open the door and hand out the candy, while the other one holds Chase on his leash. If you are doing Halloween solo and can’t tag team like my husband and I do, keep your dog safe in a comfortable, enclosed area – such as a bedroom with the door closed. Make sure he has his favorite toys to keep him busy.

Be aware of their emotions.
Ringing doorbells, scary masks, hoards of screaming kids pouncing on bowls of candy… It’s enough to scare an adult, never mind a poor pooch! Be aware that the sights and sounds of Halloween can confuse and even frighten some dogs. Again, keep your dog safe and calm in a quiet room, away from the hubbub.

By following the tips above, you can help make Halloween fun and safe for the whole family – including the furry members.

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