8 Top Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs
Halloween can be a lot of spooky fun, but it’s important to take steps to make sure it doesn’t become legitimately scary for you and your dog.
According to the American Kennel Club, Halloween is the second most common holiday for dogs to get lost behind the Fourth of July. The holiday is also the busiest time of the year for pet poison helplines, with emergency critical care and toxicology calls going up by 12% during the week of Halloween.
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to review some safety tips that can make the holiday as fun and stress-free as possible for you and your dog.
8 Ways You Can Practice Halloween Dog Safety This Spooky Season
Sporting a costume, trick-or-treating, or just manning the door at home for the little ghosts and goblins should be fun for everyone, but safety is a priority. Keep your best friend calm this season by following our eight Halloween safety tips for dogs!
1. No trick-or-treat candy
Giving your dog treats for tricks is just fine, but when it comes to Halloween candy it is a different story. Any candy you’ll be handing out—and the candy your kids bring home—keep in a location that’s inaccessible for your dog. While all candy should be avoided, it’s especially important to make sure your dog doesn’t get his nose into anything that contains chocolate or Xylitol, a sweetener used in sugar-free gum. Both ingredients can be dangerous for dogs.
Halloween isn’t the only day that you need to deal with candy. Stray Snickers bars or M&M’s may show up in the following days on your walk, in other people’s houses, or anywhere else your dog may go. Keep an eye out for stray snacks just in case your dog gets within reach of some perilous sweet.
If your furry friend does swallow something they shouldn’t, please consult your veterinarian immediately and follow these steps. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 (just note that there is $85 fee when you call).
2. Keep your dog away from the door
Most dogs get down-right territorial about their “dens” and protecting their “pack.” It can become overwhelming for your furry friend when children are coming to the door and ringing the doorbell on Halloween night, it’s ideal to keep your best friend entertained in another room.
Whether your dog is super friendly and loving with strangers or protective or shy, it’s best to keep them out of the view of the front door for a few hours. This extra safety measure will keep your dog away from spookily dressed strangers, lessen the odds that they get out of the house, and make the night less stressful.
3. Be smart with your decorations
Halloween is a whole lot of fun for people who like to decorate. Unfortunately, a lot of those seasonal decorations can pose problems for your dog. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t decorate your home, but you’ll want to be cautious while you enjoy the Halloween season.
Keep an eye out for the following decorations that could turn into dangerous items.
- Wires and cords from electric decorations that your dog may want to chew.
- Children’s or adult costumes and accessories that your dog may mistake for a toy and can accidentally swallow.
- Glow sticks that have liquid inside that can make your dog very sick.
- Candles that your dog may accidentally knock over and cause a fire.
4. Don’t leave your dog unattended outside
During trick or treating it can become chaotic, so it’s wise to keep an eye on your furry friend at all times. Make sure to go outside with your dog if they need a potty break or to stretch their legs. Try to also avoid walks when trick-or-treaters are out unless they’re easily controlled on a leash and won’t mind meeting a few little monsters along the way.
5. Make sure your dog is wearing proper identification
Even if you take as many precautions as you can to keep your dog safe, things can happen when it’s crazy outside. It’s best to be prepared if your pet tries to wiggle out the door and runs off, if they were to its important to make sure that it’s easy for other people to identify them. Those steps include:
- Putting on a collar that is secure enough that it won’t fall off or catch on anything.
- Adding an ID tag that contains your contact information.
- Making sure their microchip info is up to date.
6. Watch out for leftovers and debris
Candy isn’t the only choking hazard that your dog can swallow during and after Halloween. People may leave stray wrappers, costume parts, and other potential threats lying around after Halloween. Make sure to look inside and outside your home to spot any hazards that your dog can reach. If you think something might be a choking hazard or pose some other problem, get rid of it before your dog finds it.
7. Exercise your pup before festivities commence
It’s been said that a tired pooch is more likely to be a well-behaved pooch. A dog that has too much energy is more likely to run around or act out, so walk or play with your fur buddy at least a half hour before trick or treaters are due to show up. A good, long nap is a surefire way to limit any potential problems on Halloween.
8. Try out any dog costumes in advance and do your best to keep it simple
Costumes can be fun – if your dog is into wearing clothes. Pet parents may be tempted to dress their dog in some adorable costume, but a frustrated dog may lead to bad behaviors. Make sure you find out if your dog is willing to wear clothes before you turn them into a very grumpy pumpkin or scary monster.
If your dog is comfortable with costumes, make sure that it’s one that they will enjoy for a while. Your dog should be able to move about freely and easily see. This costume also shouldn’t have any hazards like buttons they can swallow that can become a choking hazard or wires that can cause them to trip. Finally, any costume should allow your furry friend to do their business without any issues.
Enjoy Halloween Safely with Proper Dog Safety
The holidays should be a happy occasion for everyone including your furry best friend. Taking some safety measures can help ensure that your favorite furry monster is safe and that everyone can enjoy the spooky season.
Of course, Halloween isn’t the only time you’ll want to keep your best friend safe. Sign Up for the Best Friends Club today for more helpful articles and members-only discounts for Bil-Jac products.