Do you know what’s scarier than the costumes, movies, and pranks of Halloween? Dealing with a dog emergency caused by a holiday mishap! Keep your pooch safe and sound this Halloween with these tips from a Richmond Hill veterinarian.

Treats Aren’t for Dogs

Keep all the chocolate goodies that abound during Halloween to yourself—as most pet owners know, chocolate will cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even seizures and other serious symptoms if ingested. Also beware of candy and gum sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that is toxic to pets.

Festive Plant Precautions

Your house may be decorated with pumpkins and fall corn around this time of year. While these items aren’t necessarily toxic, they aren’t good for your dog, either. Ingestion may cause upset stomach or diarrhea, and dogs could choke on parts of the plant that break off. Take care that your dog can’t reach these items.

Decoration Safety

If you’ve decked out your home with fake scary monsters, huge plastic spiders, lit-up pumpkins, or any other Halloween decorations, make sure all electrical wires and cords are safely secured. Consider taping them down to the floor or wall so a pet can’t chew on them.

Trick-or-Treat Caution

Many dogs will dart to the door every time they hear the doorbell ring, and the doorbell might be ringing a lot on trick-or-treat night. Don’t risk your dog running out into the night and getting lost—if he’s not properly trained to stay inside, you may want to secure him indoors to avoid all risk.

Dress-Up Tips

Thinking of dressing your dog up in his own Halloween costume? Have fun, but make sure it’s safe. A costume shouldn’t restrict your dog’s movement or cause him any stress. Also check that there aren’t small, breakable pieces that your dog could choke on.

Contact your Richmond Hill veterinarian for more helpful Halloween safety tips. Your dog will appreciate it!