While Halloween is a fun time for children, it can be very dangerous for dogs. People dressed up as zombies and ghosts can terrify some dogs, and ringing doorbells are enough to drive most dogs into a barking frenzy! It’s very important for you to take safety precautions for this day in order to keep your dog safe and happy.
Keep Your Dog Secure
Before Halloween, inspect your fence and make sure that there is absolutely no way your dog could escape. The sight or even noise of trick-or-treaters and ringing doorbells could easily frighten a dog, causing him to panic and look for an escape. Also, make sure your dog has a form of identification on him like your address embroidered on his collar or an ID tag. Microchips are a good idea too, but most people don’t think of having stray dogs scanned and assume that if there is no ID tag, there is no owner.
When it starts to get dark, children dressed as princesses, zombies, and superheroes will run from door to door, getting candy. All of this activity can confuse and upset many dogs. With this in mind, when the children start trick-or-treating, bring your dog inside and put him in his cage or a room with a closed door.
Can I Dress Up My Dog?
Some dogs love to dress up, but most don’t. Please don’t force your dog to wear a costume! If your dog likes dressing up for Halloween, make sure nothing in his costume is too tight or can be chewed off, and never leave your dog unsupervised.
A treat can do wonders when trying to convince your dog that costumes are fun! As you dress your dog, feed him his favorite treat. Then, once your pup has his costume on, ask for a sit before giving him another treat. Most dogs will not tolerate having clothes on for an extended period, so be ready to take any pictures you might want of your dog in his get up!
It’s never a good idea to take your dog trick-or-treating with you. When dark it’s easy to lose your dog, and the children in spooky costumes could easily frighten him into yanking the leash right out of your hands. Please leave your dog at home in a secure room or his cage (leaving him alone in the yard is not a good idea as he could dig under or jump over the fence, trying to escape the stress).
If you will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, please don’t let your dog greet the children! Even if your dog is friendly, a kid dressed like a zombie could scare him, making him feel like he should protect you from this odd new thing. Another concern is your dog bolting out of the open door. Also, some children are afraid of dogs, so please be considerate and leave your dog in a secure room or his cage with a toy or two for company.
Candy easily upsets doggy stomachs, so please don’t share any with your dog (especially chocolate; it’s poison for us!). Throw away all candy wrappers and make sure your kids keep their candy out of reach.
Have a safe and fun Halloween with your dog!