7 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween with Your Dog

Ah, Halloween. That one time of year when putting your animals in clothes is not only acceptable, but encouraged. (At least, encouraged by some. My husband, on the other hand, is not as agreeable.) Plus, there’s candy and costumes! However, while Halloween can be a fun-filled holiday, it can also be stressful for your pets. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog enjoys Halloween just as much as you do this year.

1. Avoid Candy Bowls

Candy and pets do not mix, especially when it comes to chocolate. So keep the candy in the cupboard until it’s going to be served up to costumed kids (or adults), and make sure you keep that bowl in an area where curious animals can’t reach it. Those candy wrappers can be especially tempting for any crinkle-loving-kitty.

2. Watch Out for Wires & Open Flame

Halloween means decorations, which also means extra electric cords lying around your house. If your dogs or cats are chewers, make sure these wires are out of their reach. Just consider it extra practice for the rest of your winter holiday season.

Also be sure that any open flames are out of pet reach. These can be knocked over, which is a big fire hazard.

3. Costume with Care

I love dressing up as much as anyone, but I don’t know that Topher finds wearing outfits nearly as amusing. It’s true, dogs probably aren’t huge fans of the costumes we put them in for Halloween. Sigh.

If you’re dressing your pet up this year make sure the costume you choose is not constricting or uncomfortable. And if your dog is already uncomfortable in their costume or around people and animals, please don’t take them out in costume where they might get more nervous—this can lead to unnecessary stress on your dog, or accidents with others.

4. No Trick or Treating

On a night like Halloween, there are too many unknown factors to every encounter. People dressed as goblins or witches can unnerve even the most mild-mannered dogs. Unless your pup is seriously well adjusted and trained, it’s best to leave them home while you go out in search of candy.

Also, it’s a good idea to make sure your pets stay indoors on Halloween and the days surrounding it. Play it safe, because this particular holiday can bring out some real jerks.

5. Keep Away from the Door

Make sure your dogs and cats are kept away from the door during trick or treat house. Especially any animals known to dash outside. While keeping a well behaved dog away from the door may sound silly, remember: some smaller kids may also not be used to seeing or being greeted by your animals.

6. Reschedule Your Walk

If you usually take your walk in the afternoon or evenings, try rescheduling it for well before or after any trick or treaters start making the neighborhood rounds.

7. Work on Desensitization

The constantly ringing bell or knocks on the door can be stressful for your dog. If you haven’t done so already, take the time to work on desensitizing your dogs to the sound of the doorbell, or the knocking on the door, so they’re a bit more prepared for Halloween night.

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is a writer, artist, and Hufflepuff currently living in Atlanta, Ga. When not making things, she enjoys costuming, tabletop games, and digging in the dirt.


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