Halloween is a fun time of year, packed with festivities for everyone. But sometimes our four-legged friends get stressed out with all of the activity. Unfortunately, pets can also be the target of pranks or attacks at this time of year. Halloween is the second most popular time for pets to go missing. With that in mind, here are some tips for keeping your dog safe on Halloween.
Boundaries in the house and outside
Dogs might get over excited to see so many new people coming up to the door during trick-or-treating. It can be risky to let your pup near the door, as many dogs will slip out, run away, and get lost in all the chaos. It can also be anxiety-inducing to see all the unfamiliar costumes and decorations in the neighborhood he knows so well.
Be sure to have an ID tag on his collar, just in case he gets out in all the excitement. If you need to let him out to use the bathroom, make sure it’s a fenced-in space, and probably best if he’s leashed.
If you’re planning to bring your dog along for trick-or-treating with the kids, make sure he’s leashed and being walked by an adult.
De-stressing during festivities
Many components of Halloween celebrations can be very stressful for dogs. If you’re planning a party or having guests over, it’s a good idea to give your dog a safe, off-limits room to relax in. Being around so many people can cause anxious feelings in dogs, and some may jump up on people or even bite when stressed.
With a safe room, he can be out of the action and won’t be bothered by loud music or young, overly-curious children. You can try playing some background music or calming sounds if you know he’ll be anxious by himself. Another option to help him stay busy during party time is to use an interactive toy or a stuffed Kong.
Being mindful with decorations
It’s important to know that not all Halloween decorations are pet-friendly. Some have toxic ingredients or dangerous components. Small decorations and accessories like rubber eyeballs can easily be swallowed or be a choking hazard. The same goes for items such as plastic spiders or fake bugs.
Some items like fake blood may have ingredients that are harmful if swallowed. Make sure anything within reach of your dog is safe and won’t hurt him if he accidentally eats it or sniffs it.
Another thing to think about is candles. Not only are they a fire hazard if knocked over by a wagging tail, some of their strong aromas can damage canine respiratory systems.
Fake webs are also a hazard if they’re within dogs’ reach. They’ve proven easy to become tangled in which may cause a dog to panic. This can also happen with string lights, so just be sure to keep them up higher. Remember to consider your dog’s well-being when decorating.
Part of keeping your dog safe on Halloween is protecting him from eating any candy. Lots of Halloween treats are packed with sugar or other ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Many have chocolate, which can make them sick.
It’s a good rule of thumb to keep candy out of reach altogether. Dropped pieces of a Halloween treat may also become choking hazards, so be sure the kids are picking up after sorting, trading, and eating their candy.
Being careful with costumes
It’s not always the greatest idea to dress up your pup, unless you know he’s okay with it. Many dogs get anxious or uncomfortable when wearing costumes or clothes. Even if he’s alright with dressing up, make sure there aren’t any small parts or pieces that could be chewed off, swallowed, or and choked on.
A good costume also shouldn’t block the senses or stop essential functions like breathing and moving freely. Always test the waters when it comes to costumes for your dog. Start out by introducing him to it, and if he’s comfortable, put it on him. Don’t start off making him wear it for extended amounts of time; just let him get acclimated first.
Halloween is one of the best times of the year. Make sure you get out there and have some fun, but keep your four-legged friends in mind too. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween with your dog. Check out this article to find 10 fun Halloween activities to do with your pup.
Are there additional ways you’d recommend to keeping your dog safe on Halloween? Please comment below and share your thoughts.
This post is part of a blog circle with other fabulous photographers around the globe. Up next: Endless Mountains PA photographer Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography celebrates Halloween with her dog, Talley.
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