7 Tips to Keep your Dog Safe on Halloween
Halloween is such a fun time for humans. Celebrating with family and friends. Dressing up in cool costumes. Lots of snacks and treats. But for dogs, it’s kind of a terrifying time – and not just because of the spooky decorations. All of a sudden there are dozens of kids running outside, yelling, trampling through your dog’s yard. And then they come ringing the doorbell. And they’re dressed up funny, too! What the heck is going on today? your poor pup is thinking. To keep your furbaby safe and secure on Halloween, we recommend the following tips.
1. Keep the candy away
Halloween candy is not for pups. Always keep a watchful eye on the candy bowl to make sure it’s out of reach from your hungry hound. As you know, chocolate is incredibly toxic to dogs. But the sugary stuff also presents lots of dangers. For starters, anything made with xylitol, a sugar substitute in candies and gum, is extremely dangerous for doggies. And if your dog ingests sugary and fatty candies, this can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially fatal condition. So the moral of the story: candy and dogs just don’t mix!
2. Be careful with costumes
It’s totally OK (and super adorable) to dress your dog in costume for Halloween. But, always, ALWAYS, make sure they are comfortable with the costume and it fits properly. For example, a costume that is too small could cause major discomfort, and on the flip side, one that is too large could cause tripping. Make sure your dog can see properly, too.
3. Watch the door
If you’re opening up the door to hand out candy, keep a mindful eye on your dog to make sure they don’t dart outside. You can always keep them on a leash. Or, if you have a screen door, you could pop down the glass so that the door doesn’t have to open at all. Whatever works to keep Fido inside the house!
4. ID your dog
In the chance that your dog does slip through the door, it’s super important that they have some sort of ID with instructions on who to call if found. Here are some super cute options. And if your dog does have an ID, double check to make sure it’s readable and in good condition. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Mind the decorations
Part of what makes Halloween so much fun is the decorations. But these can be super scary to dogs! Keep a watchful eye on your pup to make sure they aren’t spooked by all the adornment. Or that they aren’t trying to eat it. (Oh, the life of a dog owner.) Speaking of that, pumpkins seem to be the biggest problem at Halloween time. Although relatively nontoxic, pumpkins can cause stomach discomfort in dogs if ingested. Also, if you add candles to your jack-o-lanterns for a festive touch, just make sure your pup doesn’t accidentally knock it over and cause a fire.
6. Designate a dog watcher
You have everything ready. The candy is next to the door. Your dog is sitting calmly next to you. But as soon as the doorbell rings, chaos always seems to take hold on Halloween! And when this happens, it’s easier for your dog to slip outside or help themselves to the candy bowl. But, you can prevent this by picking a designated dog watcher. Before the night starts, pick someone whose sole job is to watch the pup, keeping them calm and contained during the excitement.
7. Consider a calm, safe place.
In the end, Halloween isn’t for all dogs. Sometimes it’s simply too overwhelming and scary. If you’ve found this to be the case for your dog, consider creating a safe, secure place for your dog during peak trick-or-treating times. Maybe it’s a room in the basement. Or in their kennel with calming music in the background. There’s nothing wrong with taking a timeout from all the Halloween madness.