Halloween is a howling good time for most of us humans, but it can be a scary and potentially dangerous time for many of our beloved pups. It’s important to be prepared so you and your dog can enjoy the holiday! Review this list of Halloween hazards and how you can help avoid them.
- As much as we love our sugar-rush of a holiday, the candy that accompanies it can be deadly for your dogs! Make sure all candy is stored away from your dog and that wrappers or anything partially eaten is put away or thrown away.
- Many dogs can react poorly to costumes as they aren’t used to seeing them and many costumes cover up or alter the wearer’s body, making it challenging for a dog to read that person’s body language.
- Decorations for Halloween may move, light up, make weird noses, or have other features that make them scary for a dog.
- If your dog is nervous around large groups, strangers, or children, it’s best to keep them in a room or crate away from the front door and occupied with a toy or treat.
- With doors opening and shutting all evening during Halloween, it’s a prime time for a dog to escape your home. Again, it’s best to keep your dog in a room or crate away from the front door and occupied with a toy or treat, but if your dog is easy-going and not nervous around the Halloween festivities, make sure your dog is leashed and not able to dart out the door to greet trick-or-treaters.
- Ensure your dog has his/her collar with identification tags on, just in case.
- Only take your dog out trick-or-treating if s/he is relaxed and comfortable around the trick-or-treaters and decorations in the neighborhood: even an overly-excited dog can be a problem and risk escape.
- If your dog becomes overstimulated or anxious during the Halloween festivities, remove them from that situation.
You may also want to enjoy the holiday by dressing up your pup, maybe even to match your own costume. Here are a few tips on how to choose a safe costume for your dog:
- Consider a costume type that works with your dog’s personality and likes/dislikes, for example: don’t get a costume with feet/boots if your dog isn’t fond of having their feet touched.
- Look for a costume with an easy on/off mechanism like straps with Velcro or something that attaches to their harness or collar. These will be easier to work with and be more comfortable for a dog versus costumes that you have to pull over their heads and legs. This will also help with a safe fit that isn’t too tight or loose on your dog.
- Consider fabric type for your dog and the temperature in your area. Some costumes are bulky and may cause a dog to overheat, particularly those who thrive in cold weather, have thick coats, or have flat faces.
- Additional Tips:
- If you dog is chewer or still in puppy stages, make sure the costume doesn’t have pieces they can reach and chew on while the costume is on.
- Never leave your dog unsupervised with a costume on.
- You can easily make a safe costume at home by color coordinating collars/harnesses, leashes, and a kid’s t-shirt decorated with non-toxic, dog friendly paint or markers. You can get an even better fit by taking a look at these instructions: https://www.instructables.com/id/Doggie-T-Shirt/
- You can also make your own t-shirt to match your dog or to create a theme!