When it comes to Halloween, humans get weird. They like to dress up in scary outfits. Lots of them dress us doggies up too. My humans limit my costumes to hats, bowties, ties and fun headbands, which I don’t mind because they don't get in my way and there are treats! However, Halloween can go from fun to frightening quickly for us dogs.
Make Sure Your Dog’s Pet ID is Clear and Up to Date.
During Halloween, it’s easy for a dog to run out when the door is opened and get lost. Before the #Halloween night begins, make sure that your dog’s microchip pet ID is up to date.
Also, any identification such as your dog’s name, information for who to contact in case they go missing and any legally required license tags should be securely attached to their collar.
Only Dress Your Doggy If They Enjoy It. Doggy Costumes Shouldn’t Restrict Your Pet’s Movement or Become a Choking Hazard.
Dressing up your pup so they can join in the family Halloween fun is a ritual for many humans and their fur family members. Hopefully, your humans have been practicing with you and putting on your Halloween costume for short periods of time so you can get use to it before the big night. Dogs who show signs of anxiety or reactiveness when seeing a pet costume should not be forced to wear a costume.
However, you need to ensure that any Halloween costume is pet friendly. That means ensuring it doesn’t restrict their movement, limit their ability to breathe and also bark.
Ensure any wires, dangling accents or any costume parts that can be easily chewed off, swallowed or become a choking hazard are removed.
Don’t Leave Trick-or-Treat Bags or Buckets Laying Around.
Us dogs can’t help it. Sometimes humans’s goodies and treats smell so good we have to snuffle them or gobble them up.
But all forms of chocolate are toxic for us dogs and our feline friends.
It’s not just chocolate that’s dangerous. Many Halloween candies contain xylitol which even in small amounts can be dangerous to dogs.
Ensure Your Doggies and Any of Your Fur Family Stay Indoors During Halloween. Especially, our Feline Friends.
Not all humans are kind to animals. During Halloween, pranksters and humans who harm animals take advantage of distracted pet parents to steal, tease, hurt and in come cases kill pets. Black cats and dogs know that all too well. Better to keep us inside for the night.
Keep Your Dog Safely Confined and Away from the Front Door.
When the little humans come hollering “Halloween Apples” or the weird human chant of “Trick or Treat, smell my feet. Give me something good to eat”, we can’t help but get overly excited and launch into a barking frenzy.
From a doggy’s point of view, it looks like weird scary strangers are attacking our home. Naturally, we want to protect our family. Sometimes this results in us showing what humans call reactiveness or aggression. That can be scary for both us dogs and tiny humans.
So, to help us deal with the tap, tap, tapping on the front door it’s best to keep us in a confined space with a gated barrier or behind a door.
Or, if there is a comfy safe space like a crate, then you may want to consider giving us a yummy frozen Kong or our favourite safe chew toy and letting us stay in our crate until the Halloweeners are gone. This will help ensure we can’t run out when the door is open and strange humans in costumes appear.
Light Up the Night by Wearing A Pet Light or Other Reflective Markers.
The sidewalks get busy with all the trick-or-treating and not everyone will notice a dog in the excitement. Make sure you are seen. Your humans should make sure you have an LED light on your collar, reflective tape or leash so you can be easily seen by both humans and cars.
Keep Jack-O-Lanterns and Lit Pumpkins out of Snout and Paw Reach.
The pretty carved pumpkins or Jack-O-Lanterns can be easily tipped over by accident when they are left at snout or paw level. They can become a fire hazard and can cause burns. Best to keep all lit Jack-O-Lanterns well away from dog snout and paw level.
Remove Moldy Pumpkins and Edible Halloween Decorations from Temptation.
Molding pumpkins and other edible Halloween decorations when left outside can produce mold. If a dog eats molding pumpkins it can cause stomach upset. Also, if we chomp off too big of a piece of pumpkin, then it can become a blockage. Since us, #NovaScotiaDucktollingRetrievers, are known for our sensitive stomach so it’s better to remove temptation. Better to keep the pumpkins and other edible Halloween decorations away from dogs.
Happy Halloween to all the Pets and Pet Parents!