Halloween is a fun time for many humans, and some dogs like to participate, too. Still, there are extra risks for dogs surrounding this holiday, so it’s important to be aware of what they are and have a plan to protect your canine friend.
Toxic Foods for Dogs Abound at Halloween
Dogs can’t have certain human foods, including chocolate, which can be quite toxic at certain doses. Xylitol, a sweetener used in many sugar-free human products, is also very dangerous for dogs. Fairly small amounts can result in life-threateningly low blood sugar levels, and higher amounts can cause liver failure.
It’s important that you keep Halloween treats safely out of reach of your dog and make sure your children know that it isn’t OK to share their bounty with their canine friend.
Noise and People in Costumes May Scare Your Dog
Some dogs are stressed by unusual noises, and Halloween time can bring lots of those. Many dogs are also frightened by the sight of people in costumes or carrying props.
If your dog is the type to be nervous in new situations or around loud noises, be on guard during Halloween time. Don’t allow people to spook your dog intentionally with costumes or props.
Creating a Safe Room for a Nervous Dog
If you have a party or trick-or-treaters coming by, it might be best to keep your dog in a quiet, enclosed space with food, water, a nice bed, and some toys. Playing classical music can also help calm your dog and drown out scary noises.
Alternatively, you may wish to keep your dog near you on a leash, so the risk of escaping out the door is diminished.
Be sure that your dog is wearing a good collar and ID tags with your current contact information at all times in case your safeguards fail and your dog escapes during the Halloween commotion.
Some Dogs Are Stressed by Wearing Costumes
Some dogs don’t mind joining in on the Halloween tradition of dressing up, but others become upset and stressed by having clothing placed on them. Follow your dog’s lead, and if any signs of stress are shown, don’t use a dog costume. Signs that your dog doesn’t like costumes may include:
- Placing tail between legs
- Panting, licking the lips, or yawning
- Attempting to scratch the costume off or rubbing it off on the floor
Ways to Have Canine-Safe Fun at Halloween
Not to worry; there are ways to have fun with your dog during Halloween. There are a variety of fun, Halloween-themed toys available that are cute, and your dog will love spending extra time playing with you.