While October 31st is a spooky time for everyone there are certain dangers to our dogs that you might dismiss at first glance.
There’s more to be afraid of on Halloween than just ghost and ghouls! Read on for our advice on keeping your dog safe and sound this Halloween.
1) Stay Indoors
Excited trick-or-treaters in their frightening costumes might cause real anxiety and distress to your pooch. Even well behaved and mild mannered dogs may become very worked up seeing monsters roaming the streets.
Therefore it might be wise to alter your routine just for the day. Take your dog for a longer walk during the day to tire them out or at least try to make your evening walk a bit earlier perhaps during daylight hours to avoid trick-or-treaters.
This way, once the night comes and scary creatures are walking around outside you and your furry best friend will be safe and sound inside.
2) Don’t Go Overboard With Your Dog’s Costume!
Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without the dressing up. Wearing matching outfits is a great way to have fun and bond with your dog. However depending upon your dogs personality and temperament they might not enjoy as much as you.
Most dogs don’t appreciate costumes that restrict their movement. It becomes uncomfortable and you might find your usually calm pooch becoming irritable. If your dog doesn’t appreciate elaborate costumes best to stick to Halloween-themed collars or bandannas which are less taxing. See our pick of some of the best Halloween bandannas for dogs here.
Another issue to consider with costumes is that you don’t want your pooch to overheat. Body tight costumes with lots of fabric will likely just leave your hellhound worse for wear.
3) No Sweets!
Dogs should not be eating sweets. All dog owners know that chocolate is a no-go for your pooch but sweets and candy are just as dangerous.
Many sweets available in the UK contain artificial sweeteners as well as sugar. These artificial sweeteners can be toxic to dogs and many pet owners don’t even realise!
If your dog consumed these substances diarrhoea, vomiting and possibly even poisoning are all possibilities. Even just a few sweets could prove to be fatal to dogs so if they are going to have a Halloween treat make sure it’s a treat specifically for dogs or that you have prepared yourself.
4) Strategies To Soothe Your Pooch
If the doorbell keeps ringing or your dog catches a glimpse of the trick-or-treaters through the window they may become agitated. Finding a way to relax and soothe them through this can be quite tricky.
We recommend, creating a safe space for them and creating a safe fort with their bed and extra blankets and their favourite toys. Give them plenty of reassurance and strokes so that they know you are there.
Dogs can also benefit from soothing music. Studies have shown that genres such as soft rock and reggae have a calming effect on our pups. As luck would have it, we have created our own soothing playlists to help your dog chill out this 5th November. While Halloween may not be as loud as Bonfire Night the playlist will still have the same calming effect on your pooch.
You can find the soothing playlists here.
5) Prepare Your Dog For The Door Going
With excited children knocking at the door all the time your pooch might become agitated. Hearing the doorbell go off or the door being knocked all evening can be distressing.
One way to combat this is to try and prepare them in the run up to Halloween. To do this, create a positive association with the door-knock or doorbell the week before.
Start by knocking it yourself gently, then providing treats when they don’t react. Then gradually making the knocks more noisier, maybe even getting the neighbour involved to help. Alternatively, record the doorbell noise on your phone and again, start with it playing quietly and reward for no barking. Then gradually turning the noise up, till eventually you ring it yourself.
The more you practice with positive reinforcement the easier this will become.
Alternatively you could move your pooch into a quieter room of the house for the duration of the evening.
Do you have any Halloween tips?
Halloween can be such a fun time of the year for you and your dog so long as you avoid these common pitfalls. Are there any tips to keep your dog safe this Halloween we missed? Let us know in the comments!
For more useful advice and information head over to Houndy.