Most dogs are considered part of the family and are often included in holiday festivities. Halloween provides the perfect excuse to dress up your dog and head out for a night of family fun and trick-or-treating with your dog. But before you take your pup out, make sure to follow these three tips for a safe All Hallows’ Eve.
1. Update ID Tags
First, make sure that your dog will enjoy trick-or-treating since some dogs may get agitated by seeing so many people in costumes. Also, meeting strangers, especially a lot of them at once, may be stressful for your dog. Once you are certain that your dog will have a blast trick-or-treating with you, make sure your dog is always wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags in case they bolt. This may be a good reminder to check that the tags have the correct information. Whether or not your dog will be wearing a costume, you are now ready to go.
2. Reward Your Pup
As you are trick-or-treating, continue to motivate and reward your dog for good behavior with positive reinforcement just like you would on any walk. Of course, your dog should be on a leash the entire time, and not allowed to jump on people, bark inappropriately, or act aggressive in any way. It is especially important to encourage good behavior on Halloween, since you will be encountering a lot of unfamiliar people. You may want to exercise your dog before heading out as a way of letting your dog get rid of some energy.
3. Keep Candy Out of Paws Reach
While collecting treats, remember to pay attention to your dog and make sure there are no signs of stress, or scavenging for candy that is bad for a doggy’s tummy. All dog owners probably know that dogs should never eat chocolate, which can be very harmful to dogs. Other dangerous candies for dogs include candy corn and other high sugar candy; hard candy which can cause choking; and sugar-free gum, which can cause serious injury or death. Your dog should also never eat raisins, which are highly toxic to dogs; and nuts can also cause your dog to have a stomach ache. You will have to be especially careful at Halloween because there will bound to be plenty of candy dropped on the ground, including candy still in the wrapper, which will not stop your dog from gobbling it up. Also, make sure that candy is always stored properly at home. While your dog may not be able to eat most of the candy you collect; that just means more candy for you!
In the end, if you don’t think your dog will enjoy the adventure of trick-or-treating, or will be at risk of harm, then it’s best to leave the dog at home. You may need to find a pet sitter if your dog will feel anxious with all the Halloween festivities and strangers coming to your front door. Halloween is a fun holiday, and taking a few precautions will ensure a safe holiday for everyone in your family, including four-legged ones.