Halloween is the first of the true fall holidays, and kids, adults and pets alike all celebrate the day (or, night) together by dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating. Even if you’re not going out yourself, the odds are high that trick-or-treaters will visit your home or apartment in search of candy, and if you have a pup at home, you need to be prepared ahead of time to keep her /him calm and safe throughout the night. So, to keep your Dog Safe this Halloween, check out these 8 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe This Halloween.
DON’T feed your dog Halloween candy.
Candy is the whole point of trick-or-treating, but it won’t be as delightful for your pup as it is for humans. Many common ingredients in candy, such as chocolate and xylitol (a sugar-free substitute), are toxic to dogs, as are raisins, a common healthy trick-or-treat alternative to candy. Candy wrappers can also be an issue, as they pose a choking hazard and dogs are rarely able to remove them before consuming candy. Keep your pup away from the human treat bowl and instead have some dog treats on hand so your pup can safely partake in the Halloween fun.
DO know your dog’s tolerance for costumes.
Yes, your dog will look incredibly cute dressed up as a witch for Halloween, but will he love the costume as much as you and your Instagram followers? Some dogs don’t mind wearing a fun outfit, while others get very distressed and agitated whenever they’re put in a costume. Put your dog’s needs first when deciding whether or not to dress up your pup, and if you do opt for a costume, make sure it fits properly, doesn’t have any pieces that can be chewed off and doesn’t interfere with breathing, seeing, hearing, moving, etc. If the costume is new, try it on the night before so your dog can have time to get acclimated to it, and don’t leave him unsupervised while wearing the costume.
DON’T leave your pup out in the yard.
Although your dog may prefer being outside to being in the house, Halloween is one of the critical nights that you shouldn’t leave them outside. While there shouldn’t be any fireworks (a common source of holiday fear for dogs), there will be many kids running around outside and a lot of noise, which can be very distressing for your pup. Plus, there’s always the chance that someone might accidentally unlatch the gate and let her out, so it’s safer to just keep her inside and head off the crisis before it can start.
DO keep your dog safely secured inside.
However, it’s not enough to just bring your dog inside and let her roam freely around the house. You’re going to be constantly opening and closing the front door–not to mention people in strange costumes will be visiting your house, which can be very upsetting for your canine companion. Put your pup in a secure crate or room away from the front door and supply them with all their favorite comforting items, including a bed, blanket and, of course, dog toys to keep them occupied all night long.
DON’T put decorations where your pup can reach them.
Your Halloween decorations may be picture perfect, but they can pose all sorts of hazards to dogs. Candles in jack-o’-lanterns may cause a fire if they’re tipped over, while electric- or battery-powered decorations can cause burns or shocks. Of course, if your dog eats any of the decorations, regardless of what they are, this can also lead to choking and/or gastrointestinal blockage. If you’d like to decorate, keep things off the floor and away from your dog’s level.
DO make sure your dog has proper ID.
Even if your dog is properly secured, accidents do happen–especially with the door opening and closing all night. Make sure that your pup has a well-fitting collar and current tags with your name and contact information on it. Of course, there’s always the chance that dogs can wiggle out of a collar, so you should also get her microchipped (if she isn’t already) for extra peace of mind. The microchipping process is quick and painless, and usually only costs around $50.
DON’T let your pup get into glow sticks.
Glow sticks and jewelry are a popular Halloween accessory for humans—but not for dogs. While the liquid inside the glow sticks isn’t necessarily toxic, it can cause some less-than-desirable symptoms in dogs if the sticks are chewed open, such as drooling, pawing at the mouth, getting agitated or even vomiting. Obviously, keeping glow sticks and jewelry away from your dog is the best way to prevent anything from happening. However, if your dog does chew any of these open, you can provide food and water to help cleanse the taste out of his mouth.
DO help keep them calm throughout the night.
Keeping your dog tucked away in a room away from the front door is a great step but may not be enough to keep him totally calm, especially if he is already prone to getting distressed when there are lots of people and loud noises around. Dog anxiety is a very real condition, and it may be chronic or only triggered by stressful events such as Halloween. If your dog is prone to anxiety, soothe him with calming treats or distract him with complicated puzzle toys that can help him pass the time as you hand out candy. If you prepare ahead of time, the night will be over before either of you know it.
Whether your dog is calm as a cucumber or an anxious bundle of nerves, the right preparation will ensure a low-stress Halloween full of good memories for both you and your four-legged friend. Follow these eight dos and don’ts to keep your dog safe and happy on October 31 this year.
Dressing up your Pup? Check out these Doggie Halloween Costume DIY Ideas!
For MORE Fun and Helpful Information and Printables for your dog… check our
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Jordan Smith is a full-time stay-at-home mother of 2 daughters and a new dog Luna! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys strolling the streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina and all the amazing food her hometown has to offer.
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