How to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween

Halloween is an exciting event that everyone can enjoy, whether you’re going door to door asking for treats or tricking out your haunted house. If you can bring your dog along, even better! Walking around the neighborhood collecting candy or passing it out more fun when your best friend can tag along.

Parents take precautions to keep their kids safe. Pet owners should do the same. Prepare for a festive night out or a cozy night in with these simple tips.

If You’re Going Out

Everyone wants to enjoy Halloween and they should also strive to create a safe environment. Staying safe is one of the best ways to do this, and it helps that this is easily accomplished. There are steps that pet parents can take to make sure themselves, their pets, and everyone around them will have a Halloween to remember.

  • Make sure your dog has identification – Even if your dog is wearing a costume, be sure to keep their collar on and some form of identification. Microchipping is also a great way to make sure your contact information is always accessible. This ensures that your dog will be safe even if they accidentally escape.
  • Only wear comfortable costumes – This goes for both you and your pet! Make sure you’re both comfortable if you choose to wear costumes. You should be able to easily move around, including sitting and walking. If the weather is warm, make sure you won’t overheat; similarly, if the weather is cooler, make sure you’ll be warm enough.
  • Keep yourself and your pet visible – Bring a flashlight or other light-up object with you to make sure you and your dog are visible at all times. You can use a light-up wristlet or leash, reflective stickers, glow sticks, or even the light on your phone. Even if it’s not completely dark out yet, it’s best to bring a light with you. 
  • Stay hydrated and bring water with you – Make sure to keep water with you at all times, both for yourself and your furry best friend. Even if you’re only walking a short distance, it’s always better to be more prepared rather than underprepared. If it’s a warm evening and your dog is in costume, it’s especially important to take regular water breaks.
  • Consider taking a test walk – Before you take your dog out on the big day, consider taking a test walk first and becoming familiar with the route. This will keep your dog calm on Halloween, especially amongst the excitement that comes with candy-seeking kids and costumed pranksters.

Get into the spooky spirit and focus on enjoying yourself this holiday! With a  little extra preparation, you can make sure your dog is safe and comfortable this Halloween. With these simple precautions taken care of, you and your four-legged friend can focus on what matters most, whether it’s grabbing a big candy haul or simply enjoying the holiday.

If You’re Staying In

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without people handing out candy and decorating their home or lawn. Are you planning on staying in and having some fun? Read through the simple steps below to make sure the night starts and ends on a sweet note.

  • Secure your pet away from the door – If trick-or-treaters or other people will be coming to your door, secure your dog. This has two benefits: the first is that your dog will be less likely to become anxious or overexcited; the second is that it’s also considerate of any children or adults with a fear of dogs.
  • Supervise your dog when outside – On a busy night like Halloween, it’s best to keep your dog indoors. When you do need to take your dog outside for a potty break or some brief exercise, supervise them carefully. Your dog may be tempted away from the house; likewise, children may be tempted into your yard to pet or play with your dog.
  • Consider alternate candy options – If kids coming to your door and knocking or ringing the bell will cause your dog too much anxiety, consider alternate options to physically giving out candy. Leaving a bowl on your porch or making pre-prepared candy bags are both popular options. If necessary, put out a sign directing people not to knock.
  • Reduce anxiety wherever possible – Try to reduce aspects of Halloween that can cause your dog to be uncomfortable, such as loud noises or bright lights. If possible, refrain from using decorations that may trigger your dog and increase their anxiety. Using calming methods, such as a weighted vest or medications, may also be necessary.
  • Wear comfortable costumes and accessories – We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth saying again: only wear what’s comfortable! If you’re staying in, make sure your costume and any accessories will be comfortable throughout the evening and are easy to sit, walk, and bend in.

Staying in can be just as much fun as going out on Halloween! Giving out candy, watching scary movies, and celebrating with family, friends, and especially pets is rewarding and fun. With a few simple steps, you can make sure your best friend is ready to enjoy this exciting day. Halloween may be challenging but you and your dog will be ready to face them with these tips and tricks.

Other Spooky Safety Tips

Before and during trick-or-treating, whether you’re venturing out or staying in, it’s important to make sure everyone can enjoy the season safely. Below are some other tips to make sure you and your pets have the best Halloween yet:

  • Keep the candy for kids (or yourself) – The candy bowl should be reserved for human hands, whether they belong to young ghosts or adult ghouls. Either way, keep your pet’s paws away. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and candy with the sugar substitute xylitol can seriously harm your pets. If Fido is feeling left out, stock up on dog safe treats like peanut butter cookies or canine ice cream.
  • Secure decorations away from pets – Decorations are nice to look at, but should be kept out of reach of animals. Candles can singe your pet’s whispers and string lights and plug-in décor can be ingested or shock your pooch. Additionally, heavier decorations can harm your best friend if they fall over. Make sure to secure your decorations and consider your pets when setting them up.
  • Watch out for holiday-themed plants – If you get some live decorations for your house to celebrate the holiday season, either make sure they’re non-toxic for pets or make sure to keep them safely out of reach. More common Halloween-themed plants, such as squash and pumpkin, aren’t poisonous for pets. However, they can definitely cause a stomach ache if ingested in large quantities.

Break out your candy buckets and get your best costumes ready, because the spooky season is upon us! October is a month packed full of fall festivities and scary-good fun. To focus on spending quality time with people you love, consider these steps to keep everyone safe this Halloween.

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