There’s something exciting about trick-or-treating, no matter how old you are. The cool fall air, dead leaves crunching under foot, a gentle wind whistling by your ear…
But no matter how excited you are to fill that pillowcase with candy, for the sake of pet health, it’s probably a good idea to leave the dogs at home on Halloween night. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Dropped Goodies
Dogs love to scavenge, but Halloween night is not the time to allow it. Kids drop candy and wrappers, and both could cause pet health issues. In addition to chocolate and raisins being toxic to dogs, wrappers cause a choking hazard and could even cause intestinal blockages if swallowed.
2. Other Dogs
When it’s dark, people are in costumes, the doorbell has been ringing and strangers have been showing up at the house all night, dogs can be on edge. There may be one or two roaming your neighborhood after escaping when kids came to the door, or the houses you approach may have dogs inside or in the yard. Your pup may also encourage other dogs to try and escape – some may just want to play and say hi, others may be trying to protect their turf. Either way, it can be quite stressful for both dog and owner.
If it’s especially cold or you live in a larger city, it may be common for parents to drive their kids from house-to-house while trick-or-treating. This means lots of cars, lots of stops and starts, and many opportunities for injury should your dog get off his leash.
4. Yard Décor
Over the past few years, inflatable and animatronic yard art has become very popular. Moving parts and hard-to-see cables can spook dogs or cause tangles with their leashes.
We don’t want to give anyone ideas, but older kids especially love playing pranks on Halloween. These can involve loud and sometimes dangerous homemade “bombs” or fireworks, among other things, and no dog will enjoy being around that.
So, what should you do with your dog on Halloween?
If you’re staying home and handing out candy: Keep the candy bowl out of your dog’s reach and put up a baby gate between the dog and the front door, so he can’t get out (or jump up on strangers) when the door bell rings. If your dog goes crazy every time the door bell rings, he may prefer to be in his crate in a quiet room.
If you’re going out: Put your dog in his crate in a quiet area, so he can feel secure despite any bell-ringers or hijinks that happen outside.
From all of us at Pets Best Insurance, have a Happy Halloween!