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    Halloween advice for dog owners from the RSPCA

    NewsThursday 31 October 2013
    In the build up to Halloween the RSPCA has released a nice article offering plenty of advice to help dog owners ensure that their pets are safe and comfortable during the festivities. 
    Last Halloween, the charity received around 5,550 calls from people seeking help and advice. The number of calls have increased every year and they are now bracing themselves for yet another busy night. 
    Lisa Richards, the RSPCA’s dog expert, spoke on the charity’s website, saying: “Halloween is growing in popularity every year, and while it is a fun night of costumes and chocolates it does present some hazards for your pet.
    “We would urge people to take a little extra care at this time of year, and by following our top tips we hope everyone can have a happy, healthy – and horrifying – Halloween!”
    Here are some snippets of advice that the RSPCA has offered dog owners this Halloween:
    • Most dog owners are already aware that they shouldn’t give their dog any form of chocolate, as it is toxic if consumed. 
    • If trick or treating is popular in your area, please don’t leave your dog outside. Dogs could possibly be teased or frightened by strangers in costumes and masks or fed improper foods. The best place for your dog is in their space inside your home.
    • If you have trick or treaters in your area, then the constant knocking at the door, or the repetitive ringing of the doorbell can make your pet anxious. Therefore it is a good idea to make sure that your dog has constant access to a nice quiet area of the house where they can hide and rest undisturbed. In fact, this doesn’t simply apply to dogs, this is a good idea for all of your pets. 
    • If you decide to dress your pet up, then the RSPCA has recommended that dogs should only wear clothing that has a clear welfare benefit to the animal. For example, the clothing should offer your dog warmth or waterproofing. The clothing should also not restrict the movement of the dog and should allow it to behave as normal. 
    • If you do believe that your pet has been poisoned, then you should contact your vet immediately. They will ask for details of when you suspect the poisoning occurred and symptoms.  You may be asked to bring in your pet as soon as possible.Signs that your animal could be poisoned vary and can include any of the following: depression, unsteady on their feet, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties and twitching or seizures.
    • Never try to make your pet vomit, as it can be extremely dangerous.
    • Different substances can affect animals in different ways.  Some symptoms can take days to appear.
    For more information on poisoning and pets, visit the RSPCA’s poisoning advice page.
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