HALLOWEEN TIP #1: Most dogs dislike wearing costumes.
Unless your dog is accustomed to wearing clothing, they will be unhappy in a costume. Spend that money on something your dog will really enjoy like a new toy or yummy chew treat.
HALLOWEEN TIP #2: Use props to get cute photos! Instead of subjecting your dog to an uncomfortable costume (and getting a photo where your dog looks unhappy), use props to create your Halloween masterpiece.
HALLOWEEN TIP #3: Get their energy spent before the trick-or-treaters come out. The best way to ensure your dog isn’t going crazy all night is to get that crazy out during the day. Go for a long walk, play fetch, hide kibble in the grass and let them sniff for it.
HALLOWEEN TIP #4: In case of escape, be sure your dog is wearing ID. If you’re not a fan of jingling tags, there are many shops on Etsy that will embroider your phone number on a collar. It’s a great alternative to tags.
HALLOWEEN TIP #5: Unplug your doorbell. If your dog goes nuts at the sound of the doorbell, why drive him crazy all night? Sit out on your porch to greet the kids or watch by the window so you can open the door before they have to ring or knock. Your dog will thank you for the peace & quiet.
HALLOWEEN TIP #6: Dogs can be scared by costumes. Scared dogs can bite.
Remember, while *you* understand that the witch in the flowing cape, pointy hat, and green face paint is your 5-year-old, your dog may not. The witch SMELLS like your kid, but it looks VERY different. Combined with the odd way kids can walk when wearing costumes…. well, it’s just not a risk you want to take.
Keep your dog and costumed kids and guests separated for the sanity and safety of both.
HALLOWEEN TIP #7: Set up a cozy spot for your pup. If trick or treaters are coming to your front door, set the dog up in a back bedroom or in the basement. If your dog likes their crate, put them in their crate.
Add background noise with a TV, radio, or white noise machine. Make it an awesome place to spend a few hours.
HALLOWEEN TIP #8: Give your dog something to do. Pictured here is a Kong Genius toy. They’re available online or at any local pet store. Fill it with kibble or treats and your dog will have a blast trying to figure out how to extract them. A regular Kong can be stuffed with canned pumpkin, peanut butter, or wet dog food and frozen for a fun “pupsicle” treat that takes a long time to eat. We also love bully sticks, Himalayan chews, and NoHide chews (a digestible alternative to rawhide).
HALLOWEEN TIP #9: It is okay to hide. Help them feel safe.
Despite unplugging the doorbell, putting them in a back bedroom, using white noise, and providing treats and toys, some dogs are still frightened by the sounds of mischief on Halloween.
It is totally okay for your dog to retreat under a bed or into a closet if they feel frightened. Don’t pull them out or force them to join the festivities. Check in on them. Toss a treat or two into their hidey hole. Then let them be. They’ll come back out when the coast is clear.
HALLOWEEN TIP #10: Keep your pup out of the candy. Everyone knows chocolate is a no-no, but did you know that gum and mints often contain the sweetener xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs? If your dog has ingested chocolate, sugar-free candies, gum, or mints, call your vet immediately for advice.