Adults and kids alike love the Halloween holiday – it’s a great excuse to decorate your house, get dressed up, eat candy, and celebrate all things spooky. However, within this fun holiday, there are many potential dangers to our pets! From the decorations we use to the candy we eat to the constant flow of trick or treaters, we need to be prepared and protect our pets.
On the big night, keep your dog indoors. It’s a dog’s natural instinct to want to protect their home and family from strangers – and on Halloween there is no shortage of strangers approaching the house! To protect your pet from fleeing the backyard, even if it’s fenced, please bring your dog inside for the evening.
Reassure your dog and keep them restrained. Halloween is an unusual night to a dog. While we understand why kids in costume keep coming up to the front door and yelling “trick or treat”, our pets do not. You can reassure your dog that everything is okay by continuing to act normally – don’t over-reassure them because then they might believe something is wrong. And if your pet is nervous about the frequent visitors, or perhaps they’re a bit too excited to greet them all at the front door, it’s best to keep them in a separate room away from the front door. This will prevent them from being able to show any aggression or run outside and get lost.
Keep candy away from your dog. Much of the candy that is given out on Halloween, especially those containing chocolate, are toxic to dogs. Reactions can range from an upset stomach to vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. It’s important you do your part as a pet owner and keep all candy (even empty candy wrappers) somewhere safe where your pet cannot get access to them.
Protect your dog from your decorations. Dog tails wag. It’s a fact. And it’s also a fact that there’s no decoration that screams “Halloween” more than a jack-o-lantern with candles inside. But it’s those wagging tails combined with those candles, either inside a pumpkin or on a stand, that can cause a bit of danger to your pet and your home. Agitated or excited dogs, and their moving tails, can easily knock over a lit candle. Do yourselves and your pets a favor and either put your candle decorations out of your pet’s reach or just use battery-powered candles with no real flame.
Think twice before taking your dog trick-or-treating with you. Taking your dog out trick-or-treating with you may sound like a fun outing for your pet, but in truth it could end up being a very stressful experience for them. Dogs will not understand that people jumping out at them or seeing a giant inflatable T-Rex walking towards them is perfectly normal and safe. Instead it may end up instilling a fear of strangers in them that could last long beyond the holiday. If you do take your dog with you, please keep a firm grip on their leash and do not let strangers in costume approach your dog without your consent.
Halloween is a special night that allows us all to celebrate the creepy and crawly and spooky. However, our pets don’t necessarily understand the evening’s events and costumes. But by taking a few steps in advance, you can ensure that both you and your dog have a great Halloween night!