OK, we’re not going to go all Martha Stewart on you, that’s for sure! We’re in no position to even attempt casting judgement over anyone’s style or taste when it comes to Halloween decor. With dogs and a few kids in the mix over here, you can generally classify our “style” most accurately like this: It looks like (insert holiday here) threw up on the house.
And while that may not be completely fair, as care is – and always has been taken – to make sure the menagerie of stringed lights, yard art, webbing, artificial critters, etc., pose no real or imagined threat to visitors, the mail carrier, the lawn guy, or the cast and crew who live here. But despite all that effort, it’s still tough to remove the temptation to touch, sniff, chew, or otherwise investigate your Halloween decorations. As most dogs are are curious by nature, a little forethought can go a long way in keeping them safe – and your house in the spirit of the season. (Yes, that was a Halloween pun…)
Pumpkins: Pumpkins are considered generally safe for dogs. But, like any other sort of dietary change, there’s the chance that consuming something new and different could upset their bellies. Best bet is to keep them out of reach.
Jack-O-Lanterns: Whether it’s a candle, battery or electrical-operated light source, glow stick, or what have you, take extra care to keep these out of reach. Candles and cords are fire hazards, of course, and that goo in those glow sticks – dibutyl phthalate – isn’t considered highly toxic, but it is a skin, eye, and mucus membrane irritant.
Other chewing hazards: Decorations are for the eyes to behold, not the mouths to chew. Many won’t last a season in the yard, much less a few seconds in a dog’s teeth. These rubber, foam and plastic bits pose a serious choking hazard as well as the opportunity for dangerous bowel obstruction.
Wagging tails: We love big dogs with big, happy, wagging tails. But all that Halloween tchotchke has no place around a wiggling hind end. Keeping it out of reach will keep it off of the floor, and out of the way.
Even if your dog has experienced many Halloween seasons, re-introducing even the oldest decorations is still a change in their environment that they’ll want to investigate. Play it safe to sidestep any unwanted surprises!