Halloween is a fun and exciting holiday for many people, and it makes perfect sense that you would want to let your dog join in on the celebrations! While Halloween may be a blast for us, certain Halloween traditions can prove dangerous and scary for our dogs. We at Lucky Paws want to give you some tips to ensure that your dog is safe and stress-free this Halloween.
Trick or Treaters
It can be difficult for our dogs to recognize that there is a person behind some costumes, especially those with masks. Even when they do recognize it as a human, the human often looks VERY different than they are used to. This can cause a fearful or even aggressive response from your otherwise very friendly dog. If you want your dog to be comfortable around people wearing costumes, it’s a good idea to allow the dog to see you or other people without the mask or costume first, then allow your dog to watch them put the mask on (maybe even let them sniff the mask beforehand too). We recognize that this may not be a very convenient way to introduce your dog to your guests, so if your dog is scared of people in costumes, and you don’t have time to condition him before Halloween this year, it is best to keep your dog in a separate room with a bone or stuffed Kong during the time when trick or treaters or Halloween guests are visiting.
If your dog is comfortable with people in costumes, the next step is to create a dog who can calmly watch as you open the door for trick or treaters. Teaching your dog to go to a bed or mat near the door and stay there while you deliver goodies is a great idea.
Costumes for Dogs
One of the cutest things in the world is to see a little Dachshund in a hot dog costume! But for dogs that have never worn any type of clothing before, being suddenly forced into a costume can be very stressful. Your dog may end up ripping the costume to shreds, or even lash out and bite you in fear. If you want your dog to wear a costume, be sure to take a few weeks before the big night to condition your dog to like wearing the costume. Take baby steps, first giving treats for looking at the costume, and then touching the costume, etc. If you don’t have enough time to get your dog ready this year, most dogs will tolerate a festive collar or bandana. Just be sure that whatever your dog wears, that it doesn’t have small dangly pieces to be chewed up and that it doesn’t prevent him from comfortably walking, sitting, or lying down.
Halloween Treat Dangers
Of course we can’t forget about the dangers of the candy bowl. Remember that chocolate is extremely poisonous to dogs as well as a common artificial sweetener called xylitol. Even simply too much sugar can cause pancreatitis, which is a very painful and potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas. Also watch out for raisins – a common healthy alternative to candy on Halloween. Enough raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Be very careful to keep all Halloween candy out of reach for your dog.
Some fun Halloween treats that you can give your dog include Kongs stuffed with canned pumpkin or dog biscuits made with pumpkin cut into fun Halloween shapes. You can find a simple 3-ingredient recipe on our Facebook page!
Make Halloween Great
Whether your dog is out marching in full costume, or hunkering down with a toy to avoid scary monsters, Halloween can and should be a fun and stress-free event.
Written By: Jessi Weaver
Don’t forget to submit your photo to our Costume Contest on Facebook!