No Tricks, Maybe Treats: Tips For A Safe Halloween With Your Dog

October 29, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Bernie Boxer

Like with most holidays or big celebrations, when Halloween comes around we can get pretty self-absorbed. In our quest to host a perfect party, build a perfect costume, or make our house the best house for trick-or-treaters on the block, we may forget about how our dogs feel about all of this hustle and bustle. Here’s how to make sure your dog stays safe and happy this Halloween.

Keep an eye on the candy. Whether you’re handing it out to neighborhood kids or simply watching a scary movie and munching on a bowl of it yourself, Halloween isn’t Halloween without a house full of candy. Halloween candy, while delicious, can be incredibly toxic to your pup.

Not only is chocolate a known hazard for dogs, but so is Xylitol –  a type of sweetener found in many modern candies. It can lead to liver failure and even death in small quantities. Read up more on Xylitol here.

As PetsBest.com points out, a Halloween favorite like chocolate-covered raisins are double toxic as dogs are intolerant of both chocolate and grape-adjacent products. They can lead to kidney failure, vomiting, seizures, and even death. And even candy corn, which is mostly just sugar, isn’t that great for dogs. It may not permanently harm them, but excess sugar can make dogs gassy, nauseous, and generally uncomfortable. Here’s a good guide for what to do if your dog gets into the Halloween candy stash.

And of course, don’t forget to buy your dog some special treats that they can eat on Halloween. The busy holiday will be a test of their patience – reward them for good behavior.

Keep your dog away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat hours. If you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, you’re most likely going to be doing that at your front door. Even if you have a sweet, well-mannered dog it’s advisable that you keep them away from the fray, so to speak. If you’re hanging out on your front porch, keep the dog inside. If you’re hanging out inside, opening the door constantly, you might want to keep your dog in the backyard or secured in another room of your house. The constant excitement can make dogs anxious and overactive. You also want to prevent a situation where your dog runs out the front door.

The reasons for keeping your dog away from trick-or-treaters extends beyond protecting your dog, however. As Redfin.com points out, many children are shy and even nervous around dogs – even the best ones. Avoid stress on all sides by keeping the dog put away during peak trick-or-treat hours.

“Avoid stress on all sides by keeping the dog put away during peak trick-or-treat hours.”

Avoid the overdone dog costumes. If you want to put your dog in a cute Halloween T-shirt, that’s probably ok. But dressing your dog up in an overwrought costume is not only inconsiderate, but it can even be dangerous. Many dogs don’t particularly love having things around their faces, so masks are a no-go. Tight-fitting costumes are uncomfortable for some dogs, and they can even get their fur or loose skin twisted in elastic bands. As Dog Guide notes, dogs can chew on annoying costumes can wind up eating fabric, leading to a risk of intestinal blockages. Just be smart about the costuming. Don’t overdo it.

Nothing can turn Halloween into a truly ghastly night like a major problem with your dog. The holiday is rife with potential doggie dangers, from candy to costuming. You can include your dog in some of the Halloween celebrations, but it’s probably best you put them away during trick-or-treating. Above all, just use common sense. If your dog seems nervous, anxious, over-excited, or scared, adjust your behavior and attend to their needs.

halloween via Pixabay

If you enjoyed this post, you should read Living With Dog Aggression here.

Do you take any extra precautions during Halloween? Share below!

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