K9 Corner, Oct. 31

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017


First and foremost, this is Oct.31 and it is Halloween tonight. Please corral your pets, whether canine or feline and keep them safe tonight.  Animals are not use to the costumes, flashlights and squeals of joy that are part of “trick or treating.” They may hide, run away, get hit by a car carrying children to a new neighborhood or snarl if they think they are cornered by the newest witch on the block. Keeping your pets safely confined during the evening will prevent tragedy.

I should have mentioned several weeks ago that if you were planning to dress up your mature dog for the first time for Halloween, you should have prepared and had “dress rehearsals” a number of times before this evening. Puppies that have been socialized and are about six months or more of age, will probably accept a costume without much fuss.  However, some puppies are introverted and will not do well even as a front door greeter. 

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That brings up another precaution: puppies and untrained mature dogs should be restrained either by leash or crate or confined in another room since the constant doorbell chimes are aggravating to some dogs and the open door is an invitation to dart out into the night. Now that’s not what you want to do on Halloween night – run out and try to find your dog!

This holiday is a big candy and treat day. Watch for dropped candies on your porch and sidewalk and keep the candies away from your pets.  Chocolate has theobromine which is a diuretic and myocardial stimulant to humans, but is toxic to dogs and cats. Raisins and macadamia nuts are often in cookies and other sweets and are bad for your pets. It is easier to say “no” to the human treats and “yes” to your special dog treats especially if you have young children helping you answer the door and providing the goodies.

For those wanting to take your pup or dog with you as you accompany your children from house to house, be sure to keep them on leash or carry them. Also they should have identification on their collars just in case they get loose. If the animal becomes nervous or defensive, take the dog home.  Then you can return to visiting the neighborhood.

I would not advise taking the dog to the car and leaving him alone in the vehicle. A few years ago, I had a young dog with me and left her in the car as I picked up a package. In the few minutes I was out of the car, the dog tore one headrest to pieces and damaged a second one. To this day I don’t know how she did it so fast, nor do I know what triggered it. I can imagine how a dog already upset with the commotion of Halloween trick or treaters might tear up the car interior, thus I recommend that the dog should go home where it will feel safe.