The night for ghouls and goblins gracing your streets is just around the corner, knocking at your door and ringing your bell. 

The children all look forward to getting dressed up in their costume-best, going door-to-door with their large pillowcases, boasting the phrase “trick or treat” while scoping each sweet entering the bag.  If you have a dog or two, continually opening the door can be an invitation to escape and danger for your pet. You will need to put into practice some Halloween safety tips for your dog.

Reflect on some protective measures for your dog’s safety prior to the kids coming up your walkway.  You can consider placing a safety-gate in front of the doorway if it will fit so you can open the door without fear your pet will get out.  Otherwise it may be best to confine the pets to another room during the busy trick-or-treat hours.  Some of the more fearful or territorial dogs should be separated in a secure area with a bed, durable dog toys and water, away from all the activity.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a dog that loves the spotlight, kids love nothing more than to see a four-legged witch, angel, or superhero. There’s nothing wrong in dressing up your dog to join in the festivities, as long as the costume is not constricting and your dog doesn’t mind. Avoid costumes with small parts, trinkets or dangles that can be chewed off and swallowed. Be sure to try on costumes prior to the day to ensure your dog can comfortably walk around without feeling embarrassed and stressed out. Some dogs love to get dressed up and participate in the fun while others are really fearful of the whole situation, so it is best not to push it. A simple festive collar or bandana is a less invasive way for your dog to look the part.

Costume Inspiration

If ready, willing and able to dress up and walk along the kids for trick-or-treating, ensure that your dog is wearing a reflective collar or other reflective gadget to make the pet’s presence apparent. Your dog should always have identification such as dog tags and ideally a microchip in case he gets spooked and runs away.

Here are some indoor Halloween safety tips for your dog. Make sure to keep all candy, sweets, and food out of reach. Most candies and the wrappers can cause your pet serious health issues. Anything sugar-free contains Xylitol which is toxic for dogs along with any type of chocolate.  The candy dish should be strictly off-limits. Have a bowl of healthy dog treats set aside to “treat” your canine friend with his own allowable type of candy.

Halloween safety tips for your dog should continue indoors as you make the home cozy and festive. While pumpkin is good for your dog, don’t let your pooch chew on any decorative pumpkin, corn, etc. as it may lead to an upset stomach. Its also a good idea to keep decorations that require power cords out the way so your dog doesn’t get tangled or end up chewing through the cord.

As much as you consider your dogs as part of the family, holidays and parties can be stressful for animals. There are many ways to include them in the festivities as long as you plan ahead and make sure your dog is comfortable throughout.