We’ve heard a lot of our dog walking buddies are going to be trick-or-treating with their parents on Halloween! And while we love that your fur kids are included in your family plans, Halloween can definitely be more scary than fun for them. Packs of sugar-fueled, screaming mini-humans running around in strange get-ups, constant doorbell ringing, and the temptation of sweets is enough to drive us wild… imagine your dog, who is much more sensitive to change and external stimulation! We really recommend you keep your pup safe and comfortable at home on Halloween, but are here to help if you can’t leave them behind.
1. As we mentioned in a previous Halloween Safety post, the most important part of your dog’s costume is a short leash, proper ID, and a microchip! Don’t let your dog run away without any identification; they could get spooked by the little ghouls and bolt. With your short leash, keep it to less than 4 feet, that way you can keep your pups close to you.
2. Costume Do’s and Don’ts: Of course, make sure that your dog is okay with wearing a costume! Also make sure that your dog can breathe and see properly. The commotion from all the festivity is stressful enough; restricted movement and and an inability to breathe or see properly will send your pup over the edge. Introduce your pet to the costume gradually if he or she has never worn one before, and don’t force them to wear one if they don’t like it, regardless of how cute the photos may turn out! Do attach reflective tape to your pet’s costume. Do take many cute photos if your pet allows!
3. Halloween Is Not a Good First: How many times have you taken your dog out to super crowded parties, street fairs, or festivals? If your dog is not used to this kind of environment, Halloween is not the night to start. You especially don’t want strangers in weird costumes coming up to your stressed out dog and petting him or her. It’s safer to avoid the potential for a negative reaction- keep strangers at bay.
4. Watch for Candy! Chocolate. Raisins. Gum. As we’ve mentioned in our post on foods toxic to dogs, all of these popular items are either toxic or cause severe discomfort in your dogs. Keep an eye out for dropped candy, especially if your dog is food-driven. This is one of the main reasons we recommend that Fido stay home on this night!
5. Dogs Don’t Ring Doorbells: The mix of excited children, lots of candy, and a resident dog makes us very nervous! That situation is a potential problem waiting to erupt. Set your dog up for success by staying back from the main event.
6. Bring Your Dog Treats: Make sure to reward good behavior and stave off puppy hunger with dog-healthy treats. This will distract hungry dogs from the untouchable candy and make it easier to keep them happy and well-behaved!
We hope these tips help! Remember, it’s preferable for your pup to remain safe and cozy at home with his or her Halloween bone or treat, rather than stressed out walking among strangers in the dark, surrounded by weird scents, sounds, and sights. Have a frightful night, but in the good way! As always, call us with any concerns or questions at 305-794-3733.
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.