It’s that time of year – are you and your Morkie ready?? Once again, the lowly PUMPKIN is the most popular pet costume this year – come on people, can’t we be more creative 🙂 Also on the list, the devil, a hotdog, bee, cat, witch bow tie and pirate.
By the way, here’s how costumes rank for Halloween for people. (This is adults and kids). The favourites are —
If your Morkie is like most dogs, he doesn’t really like wearing a costume, unless you’ve accustomized him to clothes from puppyhood.
When dogs are dressed up and not liking it, they simply freeze. They won’t take a step, won’t look up, won’t do a thing. Here are the signs your dog is hating his halloween look.
Signs your dog is stressed:
- Head down
- Whale eyes (open wide, can see the whites)
- Ears back
- Turning away
- Single paw raised
- Freezing / refusing to move
- Flattening to the ground
In that case, better to go with a festive collar, or ummm, a festive collar.
Big runaway night
Even if he’s not afraid of his costume, your Morkie might choose October 31st to run off in the night. (The biggest runway night of the year is July 4th thanks to fireworks), so keep doors closed or better still, keep your Morkie in a quiet, closed off room or in his kennel cage.
Here are some handy safety reminders:
The ASPCA has made a list of some precautionary pet safety tips for all pet parents to heed so that there are no scaredy cats this Halloween.
1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. If your Morkie is suddenly vomiting or showing signs of hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, be sure he hasn’t eaten any chocolate. If he has, CONTACT YOUR VET OR POISON CONTROL CENTER right away.
Candies that are artificially sweetened usually contain xylitol which is also poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
Eating even a bit of tin foil or cellophane wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
2. Beware Popular Halloween plants!
Plants like pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic – but if your Morkie chews on them at all, digestive woes will probably follow. [Canned, pure pumpkin, on the other hand, is very good for your Morkie – a tablespoon per day can ease both diarrhea AND constipation!]
3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets.
Yikes! Your Morkie could damage his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or get a possibly life-threatening electrical zap.
A battery powered tealite or candle is much safer with pets around.
4. Use a battery powered candle in your pumpkin.
Even small dogs like Morkies can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets.
The ASPCA says: “Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.”
Adorable as these guys are, don’t force your Morkie to wear a costume if he fusses.
Halloween can be great fun – we really get into the spirit here in North American, where millions of us adults dress up, and dress up our pets too. But here are some tips to keep it safe for your pets.
Some of the top dangers specific to Halloween are:
- toxic Halloween candy – chocolate especially is deadly for small dogs like Morkies, and tinfoil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Be sure to keep your children’s haul out of the dog’s way.
- don’t forget raisins – just a few can cause serious health problems for your Morkie including kidney failure, so keep these treats securely out of the way too.
- lit candles – your Morkie could accidentally knock over a lit candle – consider using a no flame, no mess alternative to light up your jack-o-lantern.
- wires and cords could harm your dog – dogs love to chew and Morkies are no exception. Make sure all wires and cords from temporary displays and decorations are properly secured and out of reach.
- constant door bells and strangers – can be very stressful for your Morkie. Sometimes accidents happen and your Morkie might make a run for it when you’re opening the door. Be sure to keep his I.D. on, and ideally keep him quiet and comfortable in another room during the peak of activity. Like the 4th of July, Halloween is a peak time for runaways according to the ASPCA.
Should dogs wear costumes?
Everyone loves to see dogs in costumes – in fact, most people have dressed up their pooches at some point in their lives.
However, if your Morkie is really resistant to the idea, this much stress might be a bad idea.
Start small – a little hat or a bandana, to get your Morkie used to the idea. Then try a T-shirt. Don’t rush — make it fun.
If your Morkie is anxious or upset in her costume, take it off right away and try later.
Should I take my Morkie trick or treating with us?
If you’re taking both children and a dog on your own that can be a real handful. As small dogs, Morkies can become frightened, and aren’t always as well socialized as large dogs. My advice – if your kids are older and don’t need constant supervision, or if another adult can come with you, then give it a try. But be prepared to take your Morkie home when he’s tired or overwrought.
Keeping your Morkie safe
Stick to your dog’s routine
So how do you protect your dog, short of canceling Halloween altogether? First, try your best to stick to the dog’s routine, especially regular walks. An exercised dog is a better behaved dog all round, so grab a walk whenever you can. The bonus – it will help reduce your own stress levels too.
Give your dog some time outs
You may want to remove your dog from the party central action if things get too hectic. A quiet room or his crate, is a far better solution than a stressed-out dog. Don’t assume your partner or someone else is watching the dog; be explicit about who’s in charge and plan ahead for the dog’s needs (a walk in the middle of trick or treating time? Better reschedule that one).
For an ounce or two of prevention, make sure your dog has his tag on at all times, with your current phone number on it. Check out which emergency vets will be open in your area that nigiht and stick that number up on the fridge.
One more tip – pumpkin!
Pure, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a great thing to keep on hand for your Morkie. Believe it or not, it’s great for both diarrhea AND constipation. Plus it’s loaded with betacarotene which your Morkie’s system converts to Vitamin A. One or two teaspoons a day (no more!) can be very helpful to your little Morkie’s digestion.
Remember however – DO NOT feed:
- pumpkin seeds
- raw pumpkin
- pulp from your raw pumpkin
- pumpkin pie or pumpkin pie filling