Halloween is almost here and it can be a stressful time for our dogs, as well as providing ample opportunities for getting them into trouble. One of the main concerns is that they don’t get into the Halloween treats! Chocolate and raisins are two of the most common treats a dog can find at Halloween and are potentially fatal. Ensure you are supervising your dog and your child to ensure the dog doesn’t ingest anything dangerous.
In addition to the treat hazards, not every dog will find Halloween fun. Seeing their favourite humans’ appearances altered by costumes can be very frightening. Let alone having a large number of new humans in costumes showing up at the door. This can even cause some dogs to go into a play time frenzy with barking, jumping and a lot of excitement.
If your dog is the type to let you dress him, have fun with this and let him be part of the night. This helps children not be fearful of your dog when seeing them and respond more positively to them. Ensure you do not leave a dog unsupervised with a costume on.
Have one person supervising the dog while another is dealing with the trick-or-treaters. Ensure dog is feeling comfortable and try to make this as positive as possible. Reward your dog for calm behaviour and let them go to a quiet area, such as their kennel, if you notice they are feeling stressed. Leaving them out in the backyard is not a good idea on this night as there will be a lot of outdoor activity, strange noises and they may even be teased through the fence by the children.
If you are going to have your dog involved with the Halloween activities, ensure they are on leash or behind a gate. It is also advised that you give your dog a long walk before trick-or-treaters begin to arrive and allow them some quiet time beforehand as well.
If your dog is already a nervous dog, keep them away from all of the activity and ensure they have some good chew toys to play with. If you are worried about them being extremely stressed, talk to your vet beforehand. You can even look at some herbal calming supplements like Rescue Remedy. It is advised that you start your dog on this a few days before Halloween for it to be most effective.
When taking your dog out with the trick-or-treaters, keep them on-leash and supervise them to ensure they are not picking up treats or dangerous objects on the ground. For Halloween night, ensure all pets have up-to-date I.D. on them. Keep cats indoors and confined.
But most importantly – have fun!