Dogs and Halloween
Halloween is a fun time of year for us children of all ages but it can be scary for dogs, with people knocking at the door, looking threating and approaching our pets with strange make up and costumes.
If you have a lockdown puppy, the chances are they’ve never encountered Halloween before and for older dogs that haven’t been involve with Halloween for the past two years, it could be a tough night. Here are some tips to help you through it.
Keep treats in a safe place. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, as can sugar-free sweets containing the sugar substitute.
If you suspect your dog has eaten anything potentially poisonous, call the vet immediately.
Try to take your dog for a long walk before it gets dark. If you get home after dark and don’t have time to walk your dog in daylight, think about fun ways to tire them out in the safety of your home. Treat games, food toys etc.
Make sure they have a safe space to go to if they are worried, and that this is comfortable. It could be their bed or crate, but make sure it’s away from windows or the door.
Think about the fire risks. Take care to keep your dogs (and their wagging tails) away from candles in pumpkins
Do you need to dress up your dog? Try to see things from your dog’s point of view. Dressing up the dog can be fun and help them feel like part of the family but equally, they may find it distressing. Try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behaviour, try using a simple festive bandana instead.
There could be fireworks which can seriously stress some dogs and there are tips on our other blogs which deal directly with this.
If your dog isn't very good around children or costumes, take this into account. Keep them away from the front door and provide comforting distractions for them.
If you take your dog out with you trick or treating, be sure he/she has their identity tag. It’s a legal requirement, but it will also help you reunite with your dog if they get spooked and run away. It may not be advisable to allow unsupervised children to take their dogs with them.
Have fun and Happy Halloween!