Halloween is a fun time of the year-- a personal favorite, to be honest! The costumes, the jack-o-lanterns, and the crunch of autumn leaves are a few noteworthy festivities. That being said, I would HATE to have the most wonderful time of the year be ruined by a pet-related accident that could have easily been prevented. To make sure you have a safe, worry-free holiday, I've compiled a list of tips to keep your dog safe this Halloween.
1) Keep Candy Out of Reach
There are so many adorable candy stands I've seen: Ghosts holding a bowl of candy, a witch holding her upside down hat, even a mini Darth Vader replica looking into my soul as he presented me with the bucket of goodies. But what did all of these candy stands have in common? They were less than 3 feet tall! Keep your candy bowl up high and out of reach from your dog. There are lots of sweet varieties that can be toxic to dogs, so make sure he can't knock over the candy holder or jump up on his hind legs to reach the jackpot.
2. Be Mindful of Scary Costumes
Your dog sees you in your human form day in and day out... but she hasn't seen you dressed up as Scream ever in her life. Just as this costume would scare a child, its likely going to freak your dog out as well. Not only do you need to be mindful of costumes within the home, but also when trick-or-treaters are ringing your doorbell! Your dog may see someone scary outside and feel the need to run and hide OR run and protect! It's best to keep the costumes your dog encounters to a minimum.
3. Escape-Proof Your Home
On Halloween night, set up a baby gate just in case your dog decides to make a beeline for the door. Even safer than a baby gate, you can crate your dog or keep him secured in a bedroom. I advise covering doggy door entrances so he doesn't cause a disturbance or escape the yard with all the scary people walking by your fence.
4. Use LED Lights In Your Pumpkins
You may be thinking, "If my dog is crated and nowhere near the outside porch, why should I use LED lights instead of a fire candle?" To answer this simply: Nancy the Neighbor may not have the same ideas when it comes to Halloween pet safety. For those who DO bring their pets along for the evening, pumpkin smells good and dogs like to eat pumpkin. We don't want your neighbors dog biting into your flaming Jack. Going along with that....
5. Leave Your Dog Home
It's a fun idea to trick-or-treat with the whole family, including your pets, but with the costumes out in force and darkness setting in, not to mention all the scary Halloween decorations, your dog may feel frightened and nervous on the streets. It's more enjoyable for you to focus on your kids and not worry about your dog's behavior, so leave your pup at home on All Hallows' Eve.
6. Know Your Dog's Limits
You may have picked up an adorable hotdog costume for your pooch to wear during a parade or photoshoot, but she might not like to be outfitted. Whatever the costume, make sure your dog is comfortable in it. Be mindful of tight areas on the costume, such as the neckline or armpit sections. Don't leave a costume on your dog unattended, and don't push the limits if you know she won't be comfortable.
7. Keep Updated Tags On Your Dog
Just in case the unthinkable happens, make sure your dog is wearing a tag that's up to date with your phone number on the back. Maybe your dog is microchipped, but some people aren't dog savvy and may not be aware of the microchip scanning process. Having a tag visible on your dog is the quickest, easiest way for you to get your dog back in case he bolts out the door on Halloween night. Not to mention, we sell a bunch of adorable spooky themed tags, so you could grab one here if you're in the market for a new tag.
Be mindful of your pups this Halloween season, and understand what makes your dog uncomfortable. While it's fun to dress up the ENTIRE family to go trick-or-treating, it's safer for your best friend to stay home and skip the festivities. These seven tips should set you and your dog up for an accident-free holiday.
Happy Haunting! :)