Halloween is fun for kids and adults. However, it can be a dangerous time for your dog. Party decorations, candy, and local pranksters all pose a danger to your pet. Another danger can be costumes for your canine. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends keeping your dog indoors during the evening on Halloween.
1) Walk your dog while it is still light out. This way, you pet can stay indoors comfortably until the Trick-or-Treating is over. It will be less stressful for your dog and for all of the local goblins.
2) Bring your dog indoors, especially if they will be unattended. Unfortunately, Halloween is a time for pranks. This can be as simple as opening a gate and letting a dog run free, to something mean and cruel. Keep your dog safe, bring them indoors for the night.
3) Keep candles out of the reach of tails and active dogs. A lit candle is a fire hazard if knocked over. Doorbells and excited dogs can wreak havoc with decorations and candles. Opt for flameless candles and keep decorations out of reach from pets.
4) No candy. Sugary sweets are bad for dogs. Chocolate is especially bad because it contains caffeine and theobromine. Both can be very toxic to dogs. The smaller the dog, the less tolerance it will have for chocolate. Milk chocolate is less toxic than dark chocolate. Skip the human sweets and if you want to give Fido something special, get a treat from a local doggy bakery.
5) Constantly ringing doorbells can drive a dog crazy. It is best to keep your dog in a secure room away from the door. Give them a favorite bed and chew toy so that they are occupied during Trick-or-Treating hours. Be sure to check on the regularly so that they do not become too stressed. Even outdoor dogs should be brought indoors for Halloween.
6) Dog costumes are becoming a big part of Halloween. When dressing up your pet, make sure that the costume fits well and does not interfere with walking or tail wagging. Masks (if you can get your dog to wear one) should not obstruct their vision. If your dog freaks out when you try to dress them up, skip the big costume and opt for a minimalistic costume like a decorative collar or bandana.
7) Never leave your dog in costume unattended. Dogs will try to pull off their costumes and many parts of doggie Halloween costumes can cause health problems if ingested. If you have to leave your dog alone, take the costume off.
8) When making decorations and costumes, keep all crafting material away from your dog. A dog or puppy can easily ingest sewing needles, glue, sequins, rubber bands, and decorations. If swallowed, many of these items can cause intestinal blockage or a rupture of the gut. Keep your dog out of the craft area, and be sure to clean up afterwards.
9) Have your vet’s phone number and the phone number of an emergency animal hospital on hand—just in case. It is easier to read a number off of the refrigerator in an emergency than it is to go and try to look it up when you are in a panic.
10) Children and adults dressed in Halloween costumes can scare a dog. Even if your dog is one of the best trained canines on the planet, Halloween costumes are not something they are used to seeing. Walk your dog away from Trick-or-Treaters and keep them away from haunted houses or homes with animated decorations. If you choose to bring your dog Trick-or-Treating with you and your kids, be responsible and do not bring your pet up to someone else’s door uninvited. Make sure you have control of your pet at all times. This is not the time to allow your dog to run off the leash.
Lynda Altman loves animals and is “mom” to three rescued dogs; Izzy, Sophie, and Romeo. She is very concerned about pet health issues. Prior to the birth of her 4th child, Lynda owned an exotic pet business. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.