Halloween is unlike most of the other holidays that we celebrate in the U.S. It’s not about warm, fuzzy feelings and spending time with family; it’s about creepy, crawly things, getting scared, and eating candy. However, the festivities that make Halloween special and fun can also cause some stress for your pet, or even put your pet in danger. Here are some dog safety tips to help make sure you and your furry friend enjoy your Halloween.
Remember, Halloween is weird
We’re accustomed to the unusual traditions associated with Halloween, but it’s a strange evening for dogs who don’t understand the holiday the way that we do. Halloween isn’t like an everyday walk in the park.
There are zombies, monsters, and robots roaming the streets, kids laughing and shrieking into the night, and grown adults leaping out of bushes and growling at children before handing them fistfuls of candy.
Loud noises, scary decorations and costumes, things lurking in the shadows — Halloween can be exhausting for some dogs, especially those that aren’t socialized or used to meeting new people.
Should you take your dog trick-or-treating?
Do an honest assessment before you decide to take your dog out trick-or-treating:
- Does your dog obey basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “heel”?
- Is your dog accustomed to meeting new people?
- Some dogs don’t like hats, others don’t like beards. How will your dog handle scary masks and creepy costumes?
Trick-or-treating with your dog
Some dogs like playing dress up, but others are less than willing. If your dog doesn’t love wearing a costume don’t force it. Putting your dog under stress could lead to unpredictable behavior, especially with all of the excitement of Halloween.
Look for treats that can harm your dog — such as chocolate and gum — that may fall from trick-or-treating bags.
It’s not just candy that can cause problems. Costume makeup, plastic decorations, rubber props, and glow sticks can all make your dog sick. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure that he doesn’t eat something he shouldn’t eat. If your dog gets sick, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Keep your dog on a leash, even if they are used to walking off-leash.
Consider a harness instead of a collar. This can be more comfortable for your pet, it helps prevents choking, and it gives you something to hold in case of an emergency. Look for reflective, light up, or glow in the dark collars or harnesses. As always, make sure your dog has his identification tags and a chip.
Have a back up plan in case your dog gets tired of the costumes and commotion of trick-or-treating before the kids do.
What if your dog is staying in for Halloween?
Maybe your dog will feel more safe and comfortable at home on Halloween. Here are some dog safety tips if you’re entertaining guests or expecting trick-or-treaters.
Small children don’t always know how to greet a new dog, and some children are scared of dogs. Don’t let your dog greet trick-or-treaters unless you know for sure how your he will respond to being rushed by tiny Fortnite and Frozen characters.
Make sure that your dog is in a safe place. Maybe this is his crate or kennel, in a room with a closed door (make sure family and guests know that he’s in there), or in the back yard (ensuring that there aren’t holes in the fence and the gate is closed).
Have a safe and happy Halloween! We have Goldendoodle puppies for sale in Arkansas. Call 501-514-1026 or contact Platinum Goldies online if you’re interested in adding a Goldendoodle to your family!