Making Sure Your Dog Stays Safe This Halloween

Will you be including your canine companion in the Halloween festivities this year? It’s a lot of fun, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is one of the most hazardous days of the year for our four-legged friends! Below, your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian tells you about the most common dangers and how to keep your dog safe.


There is all sorts of candy floating around this time of year, and most of it is assuredly not good for your canine friend. Many candies, as well as gum, certain baked goods, and even toothpaste varieties, are made with xylitol; it’s an artificial sugar that has toxic properties for animals. Xylitol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, collapse, and worse if left untreated, and it can harm a pet in very small amounts. Keep Fido far away from the treat basket!


The same goes for chocolate as it does for candy. Chocolate of all types—milk, dark, semi-sweet, white, powdered chocolate, baking chocolate, etc.—contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that can harm our animal companions. Watch out for symptoms like excessive drooling, uncoordinated movements, vomiting, and diarrhea; your pooch may have ingested chocolate. Rush them to the nearest veterinary emergency room if you think this is the case.

Costume Tips

Let’s face it—dogs look adorable dressed up in their very own Halloween costumes. Remember, though, that dress-up isn’t for everyone. Some dogs become quite stressed out by wearing costumes, especially if they’re too baggy or tight-fitting. In addition, be sure to check your dog’s outift for small parts—plastic buttons, zipper parts, etc.—that could potentially be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on.


With the door opening frequently for trick-or-treaters, this night in particular can be very hazardous for our dogs. If your pooch enjoys darting out of the first open doorway he sets his sights on, the night can quickly turn into a disaster! Don’t let your dog dart out into the dark of night on Halloween—if necessary, secure them in another room for the duration of the evening. It’s always best to keep your dog properly identified with ID tags on the collar, an up-to-date pet microchip, or both just in case.

Would you like more tips for keeping your dog safe and sound as Halloween approaches? We’re here to help! Contact your Happy Valley, OR veterinary clinic today to learn more.

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