Tips for a Happy—and Safe—Halloween for Dogs
Halloween is right around the corner, so here are some tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for your dog, chock full of fun tricks and healthy treats!
Doggie Halloween Costumes
There is an endless variety of costumes available for your pooch, from hot dog costumes for Dachshunds to princess dresses for Chihuahuas to superhero costumes for Border Collies—this is the chance for your pup to play dress-up! You can even make a doggie costume yourself with a little imagination. If you have two dogs, try dressing them up as a bride and groom – a basic veil and white dress for the bride and a tuxedo for the groom will have passersby throwing kibble and wishing luck to the happy couple. And Pugs seem to look funny in any costume, but a Pug in a pink tutu is a slam-dunk for Halloween hilarity!
Invite your dog’s furry friends over for a “Howl-oween” party. They can go bobbing for hotdogs (instead of apples), have a costume contest, or play trick and treat, where dogs that do a trick earn a tasty snack. Ask pet parents to bring their pup’s favorite treats—and remember some munchies for the human party animals too!
While Halloween is lots of fun, it can also come with a host of hidden dangers for your dog. Even if you know the many ways to train your dog, many dogs become frightened by the sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters in crazy costumes ringing the doorbell and demanding candy. Who are all these pint-sized intruders, and why are they taking all the candy? Here are some safety tips to help keep your pup safe on Halloween:
- Trick-or-Treaters: Unless your dog just loves meeting strangers, keep him in a separate room when trick-or-treaters come knocking. They may be short, but a bunch of kids dressed up like monsters may look like a full-scale alien invasion from your dog’s perspective. And be ready to prevent door-dashing—whether your pooch is scared by those hordes of kids, or excited to join their house-to-house treat raiding party, Halloween night is notorious for the number of dogs that bolt from their homes every year. Again, keep your dog in a separate room when trick-or-treaters come calling, or hold him in your arms and/or on a leash if he wants to meet everybody. Whatever you do, be sure to keep him from dashing out the door.
- Chocolate & Other Candy: Chocolate is toxic to dogs, with the level of toxicity depending on the amount consumed, the size of the dog, and the kind of chocolate involved. Mild signs of toxicity include vomiting, excessive thirst and urination, and diarrhea. More serious effects include restlessness, hyperactivity, panting, twitching, seizures, or even death from chocolate poisoning. And all those tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if a dog swallows them, especially if it’s a small dog.
- Jack-O-Lanterns: Those carved pumpkins with candles inside are dangerous with dogs around; your dog could easily knock one over and start a fire. Use caution, and consider a battery-operated light instead a candle inside your Jack-o-lantern if you have a rambunctious pup.
— With these and other pet care tips, Here’s wishing everyone and their pets a happy (and safe) Halloween!