Halloween is a fun and spooky holiday that can also be enjoyed with your dog. Here are some ideas on what to do with your dog this Halloween and some safety tips to ensure your dog doesn’t get hurt or spooked.
1. Dress Your Dog Up This Halloween
Humans don’t have to be the only ones that dress up for Halloween. Get your dog a Halloween costume that they will adore! Here is a list of the top pet costumes for Halloween. When looking for a pet costume, ensure that your dog has enough room to breathe and feel comfortable.
If you see that your dog is trying to remove the costume or seems to be in distress, then a costume may not be right for your dog. Dogs who are not used to clothes are better off will simple pet costumes, like a fun dog bandana or dog neck tie.
It's important to monitor them in their costumes to make sure they do not try to escape or chew on them and have safe and comfortable mobility. Never leave your dog unattended in their Halloween pet costume.
2. Stay on High Alert for Candy
Be careful that your dog doesn’t eat any candy. Any type of candy, from chocolate to candy corn, can be poisonous to your dog. Learn more on what to do if your dog ingests candy.
Make sure to store the candy in a place your dog can’t access. Watch out for candy wrappers when walking your dog the day after Halloween or if you take them trick or treating. Candy wrappers can be just as dangerous for your dog, the wrapper material can cause an internal blockage if ingested.
If you want to give your dog something fun to snack on while you hand out candy, stick to safe and healthy dog treats like Nutrience Subzero Single Protein Lamb Treat.
3. Decoration Dangers
Did you know that decorations can be dangerous to dogs? Your dog may start chewing on an electrical cord or ingest the batteries from the decorations. Dog chew toys or long-lasting dog chews, like Nutrience Grain Free Cabin Chews, can distract your dog from dangerous decorations.
Jack-o-lanterns or candles can also be dangerous to your dog, they can get excited, and their paw or wagging tail could knock them over and start a fire or burn them.
Other decorations, such as glow sticks or smoke machines, contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs if inhaled or ingested. By keeping decorations outdoors, you pose less of a risk to your dog’s safety.
Some Halloween decorations can be scary to your pup. Keep your dog on a leash if trick or treating together. Keeping them close will help keep them safe and allow you to distract them, especially around moving decorations or decorations that make noise.
4. Keep Your Dog Indoors
It’s best not to take your dog out trick-or-treating on Halloween. There will be a lot of people on the streets, and your dog may get too excited and try to jump on kids or potentially run away.
Some dogs may be comfortable with this exciting activity, but most dogs will quickly get scared or overwhelmed in such a stimulating environment. This could lead to fearful and anxious reactions like trying to escape or getting aggressive.
If your dog is very social, they may be comfortable greeting kids at the door to give out candy, but if your dog shows any signs of fear or anxiety, they should be put in a quiet private place in the house to relax.
5. Keep Your Dog Calm
If you’re handing out candy, make sure to keep your dog calm. Their instinct may be to bark at the doorbell. If your neighbourhood is especially busy with trick-or-treaters, the frequent knocking may make your dog anxious.
As a preventative measure, keep your dog in a separate room further away from the door and hand out candy outside; this will prevent people from knocking or ringing the doorbell. Calming aids like Adaptil can be helpful tools for dogs that are naturally very nervous, to begin with.
Better Safe Than Sorry
You might be thinking that all these tips take the fun out of the holiday, but being safe doesn't mean your dog can't have fun. You know your dog's limitations and behaviours best, so determine which activities your dog will be comfortable with and find safe ways to let them interact.
Alternative activities, like a fun Halloween photo shoot, a puppy playdate with a friend or family member who can keep your dog occupied, or some interactive dog toys, can keep your pup safe, calm, and entertained.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common Halloween hazards for dogs?
Common Halloween hazards for dogs include chocolate and candy ingestion, decorations that can be chewed or swallowed, lit candles in pumpkins, costumes that restrict movement or breathing, and the doorbell ringing frequently, causing anxiety.
How can I keep my dog safe from chocolate and candy during Halloween?
Keep Halloween candy and chocolate out of your dog's reach, and remind family members and guests not to share treats with your dog.
What precautions should I take with Halloween decorations?
Ensure decorations, such as fake spider webs, small objects, and wires, are placed out of your dog's reach to prevent chewing or ingestion.
Are Halloween costumes safe for dogs?
Halloween costumes can be safe for dogs if they are comfortable, don't restrict movement or vision, and have no small parts that can be chewed off
How can I reduce my dog's anxiety from the doorbell ringing frequently?
To reduce anxiety, consider keeping your dog in a quiet room away from the front door or using a white noise machine to mask the sounds of trick-or-treaters. Providing your dog with toys or treats can also help keep them occupied.
What are some alternatives to traditional Halloween activities for dogs?
Instead of traditional Halloween activities, consider organizing a dog-friendly costume parade or hosting a "puppy party" with dog-safe treats and games.