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Halloween and Your Dog Isn't Laughing

Close-Up Of Chinese Crested Dog With Pink Mohawk, 4 Years Old, In Front Of Grey Background
Close-Up Of Life on White
Buy This at Allposters.com

Safe Halloween Dog Costumes

Not all dogs get as big a kick out of being dressed up for Halloween as their owners. Dog costumes can be uncomfortable, ungainly and dangerous for our canine friends. Some dog lovers outfit their pets in wire-wrapped wings, hotdog buns and other types of get-ups that can hamper a dog's movement and dig into the hide. Masks over the face can inhibit vision and make it difficult for the animal to see safely. Humorous as a dressed-up dog may look, is it worth sacrificing the comfort of the animal? With a touch of ingenuity and a few safety measures, your fur-buddy could be the life of your Halloween festivities.

Use a costume without wiring, if possible. If the costume is wired, ensure that the wires are covered and have no sharp ends sticking out. Check the fit on the dog. The wire shouldn't be so tight that it dents the dog's hide. It should fit without squeezing the animal in any way.

If the costume has a mask or head piece, again ensure it fits without hampering the animal's field of vision or have a part of it that touches the eyes. A dog cannot adjust the garment itself. The ears should be unencumbered and sit at a natural angle. The costume's head gear should have a strap under the jaw to keep it in place and from slipping over the dog's face. The strap should be secure, but not too tight. The nose should not be covered; the canine sense of smell is a dog's most acute sense.

Boots or shoes should be used with caution. Dogs who aren't used to wearing footwear can have difficulty navigating stairs and sidewalks, especially in places to which they are unfamiliar or too dark. Use a spat-like foot covering that doesn't extend to the pad area of the paws.

A piece or two of candy will thrill your fur-baby. Dogs love a sweet now and then, but watch that small children don't feed the dog too much. Be sure to explain that dogs should not be given chocolate or raisins.

Taking a few extra minutes to inspect last year's canine costume might mean the difference between fun and discomfort. If the animal chews at a part of it, walks differently or whimpers, you will know it isn't fitting right. Wash any dog garment if it has been stored in moth balls or other chemical preservative.

Weather permitting, take your dog with you and the kids for trick or treats, but be sure to keep it well away from small children if it is prone to excitability or aggression. Some kids get scared and even a small dog doesn't seem so small to a little child. Keep the dog on a leash for everyone's comfort. The leash will help you to control the animal and pull it back from rough little hands or too many treats.

Halloween can be as fun for your dog as it is for you provided you both enjoy the holiday safely.

 

2010 Janet S. 

 

dog safety

 

 

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