How to Keep Your Pet Safe on Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner.  You might be excited about all the fun activities surrounding the event, but have you considered how to keep your furry friend safe?

Don’t let the festivities distract you from protecting your pet.  Keep reading to learn how you can enjoy Halloween while ensuring the safety of your pooch.

 

Dressing Up Your Pet 

If you want to dress up your dog for Halloween, go for it!  Just be sure to prepare your pet for wearing a costume by following the steps listed below:

  • Introduction - Properly introduce the costume at least several days before Halloween.  This will familiarize your pet with the costume so that your furry companion isn’t scared of the outfit when it’s time to dress up.
  • Try it On Your Pet - Once your pet has been introduced to the costume, put it on.  Keep your pet in the outfit for a short bit of time before taking it off.  Repeat this process on a regular basis until Halloween night.
  • Reward - Lavish your pooch with treats and praise while the costume is on.  The goal is to help your dog associate the outfit with fun, not fear! 
  • Supervise - Never leave your pet unsupervised while wearing the costume. 

Giving Your Pet Treats

If you plan on indulging in a few Halloween treats, make the night special for your furry friend too!  Just don’t let your dog sample your own food.  Instead, try whipping up some homemade dog pizza treats.

If you aren’t the baking type, that’s okay. Rather than following a recipe, make an easy and festive treat by filling a Kong with sugar-free canned pumpkin and then freezing it.   

Teaching Your Pet Tricks

If you are expecting lots of trick-or-treaters, make sure your dog’s obedience skills are up to snuff.  An obedient canine keeps everyone safe.  

Here are a few commands your dog needs to know before Halloween.

Go to Place

Teach your dog that a knock on the door or ring of the doorbell is a signal to wait in a certain place.  That place should be a location that is out of the way, such as your dog’s bed.  

Your dog should be trained to wait in this location until you are done greeting the person at the door.  Or in this case, passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Wait/Stay 

If your dog gets anxious around strangers, teach your pooch to sit and stay a few yards away as you greet trick-or-treaters. This will also decrease the risk of your pet escaping or accidentally harming one of the ghouls and goblins at your door.  

If you want to be extra cautious, set up a gate and put a leash on your dog.  

Drop It

What’s the best part of Halloween? The candy, of course! Except if your dog gets a hold of the treat bowl.  

Chocolate and anything that contains the sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. If your pup finds the candy bowl or picks a candy off the ground, use the “drop it” command to prevent an unexpected trip to the vet.

Other Safety Tips

Here are a few more tips that will help keep your beloved pet safe on Halloween:

  • Make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date.
  • If you are worried that your pet will bolt through the door, set up a baby gate near or at the door.    
  • If you would rather eliminate the need to open the door, just leave a bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters outside your home. 
  • You could also place your pet in a closed-off room with some treats and soft music.   
  • Keep all candy bowls and bags out of your pet’s reach. 
  • When taking your dog on a walk the next morning, keep an eye out for any dropped candy.

Halloween doesn’t have to end in disaster.  With a few extra precautions, you and your furry friend can stay safe as you enjoy the night together.  

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