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Keeping trick-or-treat paw-sitive for your pets

An aspect of trick-or-treating to consider is what to do with furry friends, especially those tagging along for the fun.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With about a week until trick-or-treat in most communities, many people are prepping costumes, buying treats and planning routes.  

But another aspect of trick-or-treating to consider is what to do with furry friends, especially those tagging along for the fun.  

Dr. Calvin Washington with East Columbus Veterinarian Hospital told 10TV that the key to a paw-sitive ­experience for a pup on Halloween is for their owner to know their dog and its needs.  

Dogs can get anxiety, Dr. Washington explained, so if they have trouble with thunderstorms or meeting new people, it may not be a good idea to take them trick-or-treating. 

“Even if they’re inside, giving out treats with the doorbell ringing, kids screaming,  costumes and things like that can cause them to have stress,” he said. 

Petsafe.net offers several tips for pet owners who want their pets to participate.  

First, pack the necessities. Don’t forget to bring water, snacks or toys your pet may need to keep their strength up and to have a good time.  

Second, most pets have short attention spans, so have an escape plan. Even if the kids want to stop at every house on the block, dogs may want to go home earlier.  

Finally, give your pets the right treats. Dr. Washington explained that gum, chocolate and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol can be especially dangerous.  

Chocolate can cause arrhythmia heart problems in dogs, Dr. Washington said.

“Arrhythmia is where the heart beats in a weird fashion. They aren’t getting the blood supply they should so you may see them get disoriented. They may have tremors, things like that,” he said. 

As far as artificial sugar goes, Dr. Washington explained Xylitol works a little differently but is still dangerous in its own way.  

“It lowers the blood sugar,” he said. “So they will get signs of hypoglycemia, which are similar, you know; tremors, disorientation. They may pass out because they’re not having enough blood sugar to utilize.” 

Anyone who passes out candy for trick-or-treating may want to consider also passing out dog treats as a safe option for the furry friends.  

Dr. Washington suggests buying dog treats from the store to take out any guessing when it comes to ingredients.  

For anyone interested in making their own dog treats for Trick-or-Treat night, give this easy recipe a try

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