Even if all he does this Halloween is bark every time a trick or treater rings your doorbell, remember this: Your dog is celebrating too. All it takes are a few quick tips to keep him happy and healthy from costume parade to candy sorting. How much do you know about Halloween safety for dogs?
Follow along and your Great Pupkin will rise from the patch (or dog bed) ready to party.
Exercise your Pup
Before the trick or treaters take to the streets, get your pup out for some exercise. This way, he won’t get spooked by masks, big hair, or oversized cats coming to the door. A good run or game of fetch just may mellow him out for all of that doorbell action.
Hide the Chocolate
A tasty treat to you, a toxic chemical to dogs — keep all chocolate and any non-dog treats away from your pup. If he finds the stash, don’t panic but immediately call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Use Safety Candles in Your Jack o’ Lanterns
All is takes is a swift tail wag to knock over a pumpkin and possibly cause a fire. To keep your pup and your home safe, consider battery-powered lights or candles for your Jack o’ Lantern.
Cute and comfortable are your dog’s main costume requirements. Make sure he can move freely, bark and eat normally in his doggie disguise. Also avoid accessories with small, dangling doodads that might get chewed off and cause trouble.
Light up the Night
Keep the spotlight on your furry goblin with reflective gear on Halloween night if you must join the fun on the street.
The loud noises and spooky sounds of Halloween might be too much for some dogs. Call it a night if yours seems out of sorts, starts barking a lot or trying to break loose from his leash. Make him a cozy quiet space at home to relax with radio or TV noise in the background. And keep him tagged just in case he makes an escape during the hustle and bustle at the front door.
Get ready for a Happy Halloween!
Thank you to Andrew and beautiful Josie for the photo.
Originally published October 2011; reviewed and updated October 2016.