Halloween brings a fun time for most of us, but for some of our much-loved four-legged family members, Halloween can be a nightmare.
Dog owners may not be able to control external surroundings, but they can care for their dog’s safety and well-being by observing the following tips from the world’s largest dog training company, Bark Busters:
--Don’t leave your dog outside. Even if you have a fenced yard, bring your dog inside where it is safe. Your dog may be used to strangers, but so many little ghouls and goblins running about may be too much. Remember also that it is a natural instinct for dogs to protect the family from strangers, and on Halloween there will be no shortage of strangers.
--Keep your dog secure. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, it is best to put him in a separate room away from the front door to limit his excitability, fear, and chance of running outside and becoming lost.
--The best thing you can do for your dog when he is feeling unsettled by Halloween activities is to act as you normally would around your dog. By over-reassuring your dog or giving him an unusual amount of attention, you inadvertently can communicate to him that there must be something to worry about.
--Have your dog get used to costumes. Your dog may see his family members as strangers once they don their Halloween costumes. Before the kids put them on, allow your dog to scent the costumes and keep masks off while your dog is around.
--Check your dog’s ID tag. Be sure identification tags are secure on your dog’s collar—just in case.
--Keep candy away from your dog. Many candies—especially chocolate—are toxic to dogs, resulting from a mild upset tummy to vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. If you want to keep your dog safe, make certain that sweets, including their wrappers, are kept well away from your dog.
--Protect dogs from candles and pumpkins. Excited or agitated dogs can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Be sure those items are away from your dog’s reach, or consider a battery-powered candle that does not burn.
--Think twice about dressing your dog in a costume. While some dogs might enjoy being dressed up, many don’t. Experiment first to see if your dog likes being in a costume. If he shows any resistance, don’t do it.
--Be prepared. If you take your dog with you while trick-or-treating, be prepared at all times. Do not let your dog approach the door of a house, and stay clear of possible witches or goblins that may pop out. Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner’s consent.
--Have fun but think of your dog’s safety. If you want your dog to be included in Halloween festivities, think about his safety as much as you would the safety of a small child.