Halloween – the scariest night of the year! What we don’t want though, is for it to be scary for all the wrong reasons for your dog. The combination of people wearing costumes, visitors to the door with tricks galore and lots of treats and sweeties can make Halloween a frightful evening for some dogs.
Here is our handy guide to creating a hound-happy Halloween;
Enter if you dare!
If your dog gets worried about people coming to the door, and especially people who might not look (or even smell or sound) like the people they expect, give your dog a safe place to stay, perhaps in another room with the radio or TV on, or have them closed securely in a puppy crate with something tasty to eat and distract them. This reduces the risk of your dog either escaping if they are worried by the “trick or treaters” or potentially worrying those coming to the door. In extreme cases, pop a sign on your door asking people not to knock, but perhaps help themselves from a bowl of sweeties left out for the festivities.
Control the candy!
Lots of human treats will be around – chocolate, cakes and sweeties. Tasty for us, but potentially dangerous for our dogs, as well as simply being high in calories! Chocolate is a no-no and if you are concerned that your dog may have eaten more than a tiny amount of chocolate, seek veterinary advice immediately. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous so if you are worried, use this useful online calculator as a great resource and contact your vet for advice. The same goes for raisins and grapes that are sometimes hidden in other treats and also watch for artificial sweeteners such as xylitol which are particularly toxic for our pooches. Also watch your dog doesn’t scavenge sweet wrappers, toffee apples and anything else than could cause intestinal blockages. If you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, always consult your vet for advice in the first instance.
Consider the costumes (dog and person!)
Some dogs love the attention of being dressed up and revel in it. Other dogs really don’t appreciate it. Know your dog. If they are shying away from their costume or seem really unhappy, consider if it’s a fun activity for them and you, and if it’s no fun for them, maybe consider ditching the canine costume! Equally, many dogs get surprised when their owners suddenly wear a hat, let alone a whole new costume, so if your dog is worried at you (or other household members) dressing up, let them know its actually you with some tasty treats and reassuring words, but also let them hide in a “den” if that makes them feel safer.
With a little thought and attention, we can easily make sure it’s a happy Halloween rather than a “howl-o-ween” horror for your dog!
Find out HERE if your dog has consumed too much chocolate.