Even though dogs look super cute in Halloween costumes, Halloween is a busy time full of unpredictable circumstances. Because of the flurry of activity and the atypical outfits, behaviors, and crowds that come on Halloween night, it’s important to know how to keep your dog safe whether you’re taking your pup with you to trick-or-treat or you’re leaving them home or you’re staying home with your dog.
Make Sure Your Dog Feels Safe
Your dog needs to feel safe on Halloween regardless of whether they’re coming with you or they’re staying at home with or without you. Crowds on the streets and the constant ringing and pounding on the door can send your dog into sensory overload. A few ways to keep your dog feeling safe are:
- Use a leash and only take your dog out if your dog is very comfortable with crowds.
- Make sure your dog has an ID even if they are chipped (chipping is very affordable and can help your dog be identified if lost).
- Keep your dog away from the door on Halloween; frightened dogs might make a break for it when trick-or-treaters come knocking.
- Give your dog anti-anxiety treats or medication before things get going especially if they are predisposed to getting upset when people come to the door.
- Turn your light off and do not invite trick-or-treaters to the house or to knock on the door or ring the bell if you’re not going to be home. Some people will anyway, but far fewer will if you have a dark porch on Halloween night.
Do not leave your dog outside on Halloween night. To begin, the extra foot and car traffic in your area might spook your dog. Second, if they do escape, they may become lost. Last, unfortunately, some trick-or-treaters are pure tricksters and are not above being unkind to animals. As upsetting as this thought is, it’s worth mentioning to ensure you keep your dog inside and safe.
Don’t Put Your Dog in an Ill-Fitting Halloween Costume
As noted, doggies in Halloween costumes are too cute to be true, but they’re only cute if your dog is comfortable and the costume fits properly. In fact, an ill-fitting dog Halloween costume can be dangerous. Your uncomfortable dog will undoubtedly try to escape the costume causing it to twist and potentially strangle your dog, leading to injury or panic.
Additionally, some pet costumes are adorned with accessories; though charming, these are potential choking hazards, so use your knowledge of your dog as well as the size and type of accessory to determine whether it could be dangerous for your dog.
Keep Halloween Décor Away from Your Dog
Dogs like to chew the scenery…literally. Even the ones that aren’t over-actors may be tempted to gnaw on a jack-o-lantern or the straw leg of the scarecrow (did we learn nothing from Toto in The Wizard of Oz?). If ingested, pumpkins, corn, and gourds used for décor could lead to tummy troubles.
Other types of Halloween decorations consumed like faux spider webs and plastic batwings could be injurious.
Equally, if not more dangerous, are wires and candles, which could shock or burn dogs if chewed or sniffed too closely. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog, and it’s also vital to never leave your dog alone in the home with access to potentially edible or dangerous decorations.
Stow the Candy and Candy Bowl Far from You Dog’s Reach
You can’t have Halloween without candy! While children (okay, and adults) love Halloween candy, your dog’s body does not. Most of us know that candy (especially chocolate) is toxic to dogs and can be fatal. This is particularly true in large quantities. Different types of chocolate are more dangerous, but rest assured that all chocolate can make your dog sick and, at worst, kill them.
For those who aren’t aware, cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate are the worst. Semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates, milk chocolates, and white chocolates are progressively and somewhat less toxic, but remember…no chocolate is good for dogs.
Other Halloween treats that are tricky for dogs include raisins, glow sticks, strings, other types of candy, and candy wrappers. Raisin consumption can be fatal. Meanwhile, glow sticks, strings, and other types of candy and candy wrappers can lead to intestinal blockage, digestive issues, and other health problems.
To keep your dog from showing too much interest in the candy you’re bringing home, doling out, or serving at your party, feed your dog before the fun begins and make sure to give them an extra treat or two…it is, after all, Halloween, and what dog doesn’t deserve to be treated?
A healthy dog isn’t just one that eats nutritious, delicious natural dog foods like those made by Wellness Pet Food, they’re also safe! Staying safe and stress-free are vital for your dog’s emotional health. This Halloween, put your dog’s need first. It’s a busy night no matter how you celebrate, so make sure to keep your dog safe!