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Halloween is always a fun and popular time for kids and families to receive lots of chocolate and candy.

Photo: @lokistagram

Unfortunately, this is also a dangerous time for your dog. Chocolate and candy containing xylitol can be deadly for dogs if ingested and should absolutely be avoided. Typically, chocolate ingestion does not pose a deadly threat to your dog, but it can make your dog very sick. Why, you may ask? Chocolate includes a chemical known as theobromine, as well as caffeine.

As much as you try to keep your dog away from those Halloween treats, accidents can happen. Below are some tips for keeping your pup safe from the dangers of those oh-so-sweet human treats.

Photo: @emwng

1. Keep your pup separate from the festivities

Photo: @bordernerd

During the hours of trick-or-treating, it may be best to keep your pup tucked away in his own room or safely crated, so that they are separated from the festivities. Many dogs are not fans of the constant doorbell-ringing and knocking on doors anyway, so your pup may be more comfortable staying in the comfort of his own room.

2. Safely store your Halloween candy

Photo: @bezarchitekta.pl

Make sure you store your Halloween candy safely, whether it’s being given out or you’ve just come back home with a new collection. Dogs can sniff out anything delicious, so it’s important to use a dog-proof container, such as a screw-top jar. Store your Halloween candy in the upper cabinets of your kitchen where your pup cannot reach. If you’ve got a smart pup on your hands, try using kid proof safety locks on your kitchen cabinets.

3. If an accident happens, record notes immediately

If you call or take your dog to the Vet, the first thing they will ask is what your dog ate and how much. This can be a nerve-wracking time, so take a minute to write down exactly what your dog has ingested.

With candy, it can be hard to tell how much was exactly ingested, however, a good idea is to take note of how much is left. For instance, if your dog ate some of your M&M’s, write down if there’s a half bag left, ¾ of the bag left, etc. This will help give your veterinarian a good idea of how much could have been ingested.

4. Know the number to the ASPCA Poison Control

Photo: @yoda.thefrenchie
Photo Credit: ASPCA.org

Unfortunately, not all towns have a 24 hour Emergency Vet Clinic near them. Luckily, the ASPCA offers a poison control phone line that is operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While they may charge a $65 consult fee, this is often less than what an emergency vet trip would cost and they can potentially help you over the phone. Save their number (888) 426-4435 to your phone or put it on your refrigerator so that it’s always handy and available.

The best advice we can give is prevention! We want holidays to be fun and safe for all family members.

Photo: @livlovesleo

If you have any tips or tricks to prevent your dog from raiding the candy cabinet, we would love to hear them. Leave a comment below or show us on social media. Tag us on Instagram and Facebook with #benebone so we don’t miss your post!

Feature image photo credit: House Beautiful

It’s that spooky time of year again ….. Halloween! Time to break out your arts and crafts supplies and get your creative juices flowing. By far, our favorite part of Halloween is seeing all the fun, creative, scary and cute costumes dog parents create.

Regardless of what direction your dog’s Halloween costume takes you in, it’s most important to make sure your dog is safe in his costume. These safety tips below will help assure that both you and your dog have a great night of Halloween fun!

Photo Credit: @wallythewelshcorgi

Safety Tips

  • Regardless if you are making or buying your dog’s costume, make sure you properly measure your dog and always go slightly larger to account for your dog’s furry fluff. This is most important around your dog’s neck. Always add an extra ½ inch to allow for any fabric to fit loosely around your dog’s neck. Keep your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth free of any fabric to allow him to see, smell and breath properly.

Photo Credit: Blueberry Pet

  • Stay away from sharp objects. This applies to both objects that could potentially hurt your dog and objects attached to your dog’s costume that could potentially hurt others. Keep in mind that dogs are very social and will often run up to another dog or human quickly. Any costume “props” should be made with soft, safe materials.

Photo Credit: @mrangusscottie

  • Check the ingredients of any face or body paint. There are many non-toxic, safe or even water-based paints that you can use safely on your dog. A few days before Halloween, test a small amount of paint on your dog’s fur to make sure your dog doesn’t have any skin irritations to the paint.

Photo Credit: Pugsleys World

  • LED collars can help save your dog’s life! While these might not match your dog’s costume, this safety precaution is highly recommended if you are taking your dog trick-or-treating with your family during the late evening hours. These brightly lit collars help drivers see your furry friend while crossing the street.

Photo Credit: @kees_chiya

  • Just say no to candy! Candy is an absolute no-no for dogs. Many candies are toxic for dogs and can lead to an unwanted ER visit. If you want your dog to partake on the Halloween treat fun, try giving him some fresh fruit such as blueberries. Luckily, your dog won’t know what he’s missing out on.

Photo Credit: @lifewithweenies

  • Make sure your dog’s ID information is up to date! It is important to make sure that your dog is not only microchipped, but also has a current ID tag on his collar or harness.

Photo Credit: @dania_thebeagle

Remember, Halloween can be a scary and confusing time for dogs. You know your dog best and know if a costume isn’t right for him or if he should stay inside during trick-or-treat time.

In hopes of inspiring you to have a fun and safe Halloween, we’ve collected some of our favorite dog costumes of years past. Check out the gallery below to see all the fun dog costumes and make sure you tag our Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts with #benebone so we can see your dog’s costume! Happy Halloween!

 

When you think about your family, if you have a dog, you probably think of your dog as a member of your family and not “just a dog”. There is no scarier feeling than a family member missing and not being able to locate them. But, what if we told you that if your dog goes missing, there is way to double your chances of being reunited with your furry bff! According to Petfinder.com, roughly only 22% of lost dogs that are turned into shelters are reunited with their owners. However, when a dog is microchipped the reunited percentage rate jumps to over 52%! A quick, minor procedure could help reunite you and your dog should your dog ever go missing.

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small, tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice that is encoded with a unique code for your dog and your dog only. No two codes on a microchip are ever the same. This assures dog parents that there will never be any mixups when it comes to your dog. This code is then used to help identify your dog should they ever go missing, stolen or any other unfortunate event.

Photo Credit: My Mini Doxie

Veterinarians, shelters and animal organizations have a “scanner” device, which varies in size and shape, that can be waived over any dog to retrieve the unique code. Once the code is retrieved, the Veterinarian or staff member can then contact the microchip company that in turn contacts the registered dog parent.

Photo Credit: @pawsandclawspetshelter

Photo Credit: @vetmarianam

How is the Microchip Inserted?

A microchip should only ever be inserted by a Veterinarian. Ideally, you should have your regular Veterinarian insert your dog’s microchip. Having your Veterinarian implant your dog’s microchip assures your dog’s safety and you have peace of mind knowing that the microchip being inserted is trustworthy and legit. Another added benefit is that your dog’s microchip number is in your dog’s vet file and it is one less step you have to manage to keep your dog’s records up to date.

Most dogs are usually microchipped at the time of they are spayed or neutered, while the dog is already under anesthesia. However, a dog does not need to be under anesthesia to have a microchip implanted. This is a relatively quick and simple process that at most, can cause some mild discomfort. Having a dog microchipped is much like having your dog vaccinated. Microchips are inserted underneath your dog’s skin between your dog’s shoulder blades with a syringe. Once your Veterinarian has located the desired injection spot, your Veterinarian will then pinch your dog’s skin to help minimize any discomfort and inject the microchip.

Photo Credit: sacurrent.com

While the majority of dogs that receive a microchip have no side effects or experience any downtime, should your dog’s skin or injection site become red or irritated, it is important to contact your Veterinarian immediately.

Once your Veterinarian has implanted your dog’s microchip, you will receive paperwork regarding the company that your dog’s microchip belongs to. Completing this paperwork is of utmost importance and the information it contains is the how you are notified if your dog goes missing and someone finds your dog. If your Veterinarian’s office does not give you a form to complete with your contact information, be sure to ask the front desk staff before you leave the office. Some Veterinarian offices will complete your microchip registration for you, while some may give you a website to visit to complete your microchip registration. It is important to clarify whether you or your Veterinarian’s office will complete the registration so that your contact information is accurate.

What is the Price for a Microchip?

The current average price for your dog to be microchipped is $45.00. This is a one-time fee for the service of inserting the microchip and registering your information with the microchip company. Often, you can also have your dog microchipped at local government vaccine clinics or even at your local shelter for a discounted price. However, don’t forget to copy all the information and give it to your Veterinarian’s office to put into your dog’s file. For $45.00, should your dog ever go missing, you could potentially double your chances of being reunited!

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Microchip

Once your dog has been microchipped, you are set for the dog’s life. Your dog will never need another microchip and this is a lifelong service. However, it is the dog parent’s responsibility to keep his or her contact information up to date. A good idea is to bookmark the website of your dog’s microchipping company. Should your dog go missing, it can often be hard to remember the company of your dog’s microchip during that stressful situation. This will also make it easier for your to keep your contact information current should you move or change your phone number.

Photo Credit: @_miss_maggiemae

If you rescued your dog from a shelter or rescue organization, many times part of the adoption price includes a microchip. In some cases, a dog that has been surrendered may have a microchip that is linked to the previous owner. In these circumstances, call the company that the microchip is registered to and have your current contact information put in place of the previous owner’s.

At your dog’s yearly health exam, ask your Veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip to make sure everything is working as it should be. A quick scan can help deter any problems that may have risen since your pet was microchipped. For instance, microchips can often migrate through your dog’s body. Most commonly, a microchip will “fall and migrate” around your dog’s underarm. If your dog is small, less than 20 pounds, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as the microchip scanner will still be able to pickup and read the electric scan. However, if you have a large dog, this could result in someone missing your dog’s microchip when scanned. Having your Veterinarian scan the back shoulder blades of your dog will tell you if your dog’s migrated microchip is still in working use or if you need to take other action. If further action is required, your Veterinarian will discuss your options with you.

Photo Credit: thenerdyvet.com

What to Do if You Find a Missing Pet!

If you find a lost dog without any identifying tags and are able to approach the dog, take the dog to your local Veterinarian or nearby shelter. Any incoming dogs that are not being surrendered by the actual owner are always scanned for a microchip. If you happen to find a dog during non-business hours, pet emergency hospitals are also equipped with a microchip scanner and can even keep the dog overnight in most circumstances. Regardless if you take a stray dog to your regular Veterinarian or emergency pet hospital, there is never a charge to you to perform a microchip scan.

We would love to hear any of your microchipping stories of being reunited with your dog! Comment below or tag us in your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts with #Benebone.

Photo Credit: friendshiphospital.com