Although the weather in Central Texas might not feel very much like Fall, it’s officially Autumn. This means “pumpkin spice everything” and Halloween are just around the corner, so ABR has put together some seasonal safety tips for your Boxers.
Is Pumpkin Safe for Boxers?
Is your Boxer a pumpkin spice fan? If so, you’ll be happy to know that raw and cooked pumpkin are both safe for dogs and can even offer some health benefits, as long as you’re not feeding them an old pumpkin that’s been sitting outside on the porch for weeks. Unsweetened canned organic pumpkin puree (not pie filling) is the easiest option, but cooked fresh pumpkin is safe too. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are a great source for fiber and can help with digestive health, urinary health, and weight loss.
Pumpkin can also help with both constipation and diarrhea, according to experts. Start by adding a few tablespoons to their regular meal and gradually add in a few more or reduce the amount, depending on your Boxer’s weight and health, to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions.
Pumpkin is also an excellent ingredient for tasty homemade dog treats – just add peanut butter, rice or oat flour, eggs, and a dash of cinnamon and bake them into bone-shaped cookies for a treat your Boxer will love.
If your Boxer dog has a chronic health issue or digestive problems, always check with your vet before making any changes to their diet, of course.
Is Chocolate Safe for Boxers?
According to WebMD for Pets (yes, that’s a thing), chocolate is the number one cause of dog poisoning cases and can even lead to death, making it an unsafe treat for Boxers. If you suspect or know your dog has gotten into the Halloween treats, especially dark chocolate, call your vet. If you can’t get hold of the vet, contact an emergency animal hospital and speak to the vet tech or doctor on staff.
The biggest factor in whether or not your dog will get sick or worse is the amount and type of the chocolate. The darker the chocolate and the smaller the dog, the more likely it is to cause problems. While a large Boxer may recover quickly after eating a single chocolate chip cookie, for example, a small Boxer or puppy can get quite ill from a bag of chocolate M&Ms.
Symptoms of illness include extreme thirst, diarrhea, pacing, panting, and seizures. If your dog doesn’t vomit after eating the offending treats, you can use hydrogen peroxide to make them throw up, either by having the dog drink it or by administering it with a turkey baster. Given Boxers’ natural curiosity, many people keep a bottle of it on hand just in case of emergency.
Keeping Boxers Safe on Halloween
If your Boxers go crazy at the sound of the doorbell and they have to meet and greet everyone who comes to your door, Halloween can sometimes be a nightmare. Although some Boxers take it all in stride and stay calmly on the couch, many of them can get easily scared and confused by people in masks and costumes, especially if you get a lot of trick or treaters or host a party.
Whether you’re home or you’re out for the night joining in the fun, it’s best to prepare for Halloween night by making sure that your dog is safely crated or in a closed room if you’re expecting a lot of people to ring your doorbell or stop by for treats. Halloween is right up there with New Year’s Eve for dogs getting lost when they dart out of open doors to greet guests or who get spooked by crowds and loud noises at parties.
If you’re hosting a party, keep an extra close eye on treats – we’ve heard many a story of Boxers counter surfing for a bag of unattended treats or a tasty cake left alone on the kitchen counter! If your dogs aren’t used to being around children, take extra precautions to ensure that no one teases them or feeds them chocolate treats, too.
Another option, which many Boxer owners prefer, is to avoid the chaos of Halloween night completely and keep porch lights turned off and dim the interior lights to avoid trick or treaters ringing the bell. Of course, a Boxer always makes an excellent companion for a cozy, quiet night of watching old scary movies, too!