Halloween brings fun celebrations, but also potential hazards and stressors for dogs unaccustomed to costumes, strangers, and commotion. With some preparation and cautions, you can make sure your pup stays safe and happy as you enjoy festivities together.
Follow these tips for a howling good Halloween that you and your pooch can celebrate as a team.
Dog Costume Safety
Dressing up your dog for trick-or-treating or a costume contest is part of the Halloween spirit. Make sure their outfit is secure and comfortable:
- Avoid costumes annoying to your dog like those limiting movement or vision. Not all dogs tolerate clothes.
- Choose properly fitted outfits without dangling pieces to prevent tripping or choking hazards.
- Skip masks around your dog’s face so they can see and pant freely.
- Supervise your dog at all times when costumed. Don’t leave them unmonitored.
- Have your dog practice wearing their costume before the big night to reduce anxiety.
- Make sure your dog’s identification tags are still accessible just in case they escape the yard.
Halloween Decoration Dangers
Your Halloween decorations may pose safety issues for curious canines:
- Skip candles entirely – knockover risks and burning wax can injure dogs.
- Secure electrical cords from chewing hazards. Tape down or cover any your dog could reach.
- Hang breakable décor out of wagging tail range. Secure hanging props tightly.
- Keep candy bowls well out of counter surfing reach. Chocolate and candy wrappers cause poisoning risks.
- Shut pets away when carving pumpkins since the mess and candles pose dangers.
Halloween people etiquette
Advise trick-or-treaters how to politely interact with your dog:
- Always ask the owner before petting or offering treats to their dog.
- Avoid crowding, making direct eye contact, yelling, or grabbing at excitable or shy dogs.
- Don’t tease dogs with candy or scream at Halloween haunted houses if a homeowner’s dog is present.
All the doorbell ringing and visitors on Halloween amps up some dogs. Make it calmer for yours with preparation:
- Supply a secluded spot with comfy bedding and toys where your dog can retreat undisturbed.
- Muffle doorbells and knocks. Close curtains to limit door visibility. Provide background white noise.
- Ask guests to ignore overexcited dogs so they don’t practice jumping up. Have treats handy to reward good behavior.
- Use baby gates, crate or leash to restrict access if your dog seems overwhelmed by newcomers.
- Make sure your dog has identification on in case they slip out during the commotion.
Enjoying Festivities Together
Of course, the whole point is enjoying All Hallow’s Eve together! Have fun including your dog in activities safely:
- Take them trick-or-treating! Let them sniff out candies from the sidewalk or stroller while kids approach doors.
- Try dog-friendly pumpkin treats like frozen plain pumpkin puree in a Kong. Avoid spices.
- Take a brisk seasonal walk before peak trick-or-treat times when streets are quieter.
- Include your dog in costume contests and contests for dogs and owners.
- Let your dog greet trick-or-treaters from a secure spot on a leash or baby gate.
- Take dog-safe holiday photos featuring your pooch in a costume.
With some accommodations for safety and stress management, you and your dog can have a frighteningly fun Halloween!
Q: What are some tips for choosing a safe and comfortable costume for my dog?
A: When choosing a costume for your dog, make sure it’s made of a breathable fabric and doesn’t restrict their movement. Avoid costumes with small parts that could be a choking hazard, and steer clear of anything that could block your dog’s vision or hearing.
Q: What should I do if my dog is scared of Halloween?
A: If your dog is scared of Halloween, don’t force them to participate in any activities that they don’t enjoy. Instead, try to create a calm and relaxing environment for them at home. You can also try playing soothing music or giving them a massage.
Q: Can I give my dog human candy on Halloween?
A: No, you should not give your dog human candy on Halloween. Human candy is often high in sugar and fat, which can be harmful to dogs. It can also contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate and xylitol.