Between the candy, costumes, and seasonal activities, Halloween night is an exciting time for adults and children alike. But with unusually-dressed strangers knocking on your door or ringing your bell, Halloween is likely more frightening than festive for the four-legged members of your family. Read on to learn our top tricks and treats to keep your dog calm and safe on Halloween night.
Keep Candy Away From Your Dog
As sweet as it is for humans, candy can be lethal to dogs. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, is very dangerous for cats and dogs alike, and even the xylitol in sugar-free candies pose a serious health risk to pets. Make sure your candy is safely out of reach, and quickly pick up any pieces that fall.
Keep Your Dog in A Safe Space
Don’t leave your pet in the yard, even if you have a fence. Pranksters have been known to steal or injure unattended pets on Halloween night. As inexcusable as this behavior is, it’s completely avoidable by keeping your dog inside.
Since you’ll be constantly opening and closing your door to strangers in unusual outfits, your dog may become stressed out and try to bolt. Prevent this from happening by creating a safe, confined space as far away from the door as possible. Turning on the radio or TV can help block out the noise and create a more calming environment. To give your dog something fun to take their attention away from the ruckus outside, consider giving them a puzzle toy filled with treats.
Don’t Mix Pumpkins and Pets
It’s easy for a dog to knock over a lit pumpkin and burn themselves or start a fire. Keep pumpkins out of reach or in a different room from your dog to prevent any accidents.
Have a Dress Rehearsal
Many pet owners love to dress up their dogs in Halloween costumes. While they may be adorable, there are some health considerations when choosing if a costume is right for your dog. The outfit should fit well, be comfortable, and should never restrict your dog’s movement. When you purchase a costume, try it on your dog to ensure he can see, move, breathe, and bark comfortably. Remove small pieces that could be easily chewed off and become a choking hazard.
If everything checks out, slowly acclimate your dog to wearing the costume and use lots of positive reinforcement. If they show signs of discomfort, take the costume off and try a festive bandana instead.
Use an ID Collar
Even if you think your dog is safe in a confined space, make sure they’re wearing a collar with ID tags. Whether you’re hosting a party or greeting trick-or-treaters, you’ll be opening and closing the door a lot, and the last thing you want is for your dog to dart outside without any identifying information. Use Halloween as a reminder to update your address and phone number on your ID tags and dog’s microchip. For a silent identification system, try a jingle free collar. Your dog will be identifiable and won’t be bothered by the chime of their tags!