How to Enjoy Halloween With Your Dog
Halloween is fast approaching, and many pet owners are busy looking for a costume for their dogs. Before you can dress up your pup for a night of trick or treating, make sure you are ready for the holiday fun. While the holiday might be fun for you, the noisy parade of monsters and constant doorbell rings can give your pup extra anxiety. Below are a few easy steps to make sure that you and your dog both enjoy Halloween.
Find An Activity Your Dog Enjoys
If you are enjoying Halloween ensure that your dog will enjoy it as much as you do. You could choose to play in the leaves. Seasons are changing in October which means there are fallen leaves everywhere. Instead of raking up the leaves in your backyard and putting them in plastic bags, invite your dog to play with the piles of leaves. You can also find local activities to engage in around your area by using the mobile application BarkHappy app which can help you find other dog friends in the vicinity or Halloween events for dogs. Another idea is to participate in a pet parade or a dog costume contest. It can be a chance to show off your mad craft skills and take home the award of best costume.
Ensure Your Dog Enjoys Going Trick-or-Treating
For many people, trick or treating is a happy family walk at night. Some think that walking the dog at the same time could be killing two birds with one stone, what they do not realize that their pup is not having as much fun. Your dog might be pretty stressed during the walk because of the loud, noisy and excited children running around and strangers walking towards them from all angles. If your dog gets aggressive or anxious around people who move erratically or who walk with canes or crutches, it might be a better idea to leave them at home.
However, if you think your dog can handle the crowds make sure you follow the guidelines below before you dress them up.
• Keep the dog on a leash – It might seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Even if you have the friendliest dog, other people and children might not be as comfortable around him. According to the leash laws, pet owners are required to keep their pets on a leash while in public. Therefore, ensure he has a leash on and respects other people’s personal space as you trick or treat.
• Stay on the walking paths and sidewalks – while on your walk you must keep in mind that some people have landscape and yards that are not dog-friendly. They might also have a dog that is not friendly to other dogs. Therefore, keep your pup safe by sticking to the sidewalks and paths.
• Reconsider your dog’s costume – If your dog is wearing a costume, ensure it fits well and does not impair his movement, vision or breathing. Consider tweaking the costume to add some reflectors just to be safe. If you will be gone for a while, consider packing water and a bowl for him and take breaks as you trick or treat.
• Update your dog’s ID tag – the whole exercise might be too much for your dog, and he might bolt in search of a safe place to hide from the crowds. When this happens, you will be grateful he was wearing an up to date ID tag.
• Follow cues given by your dog – While trick or treating you realize that your dog has started appearing anxious and upset it might be time to call it a night. If he is upset and uncomfortable, he is not enjoying himself, and he would be better off at home. If you realize he needs space give it to him.
What To Do If You Are Staying Home
If you have decided to stay at home, ensure that your dog has a safe place to hide. People moving in and out of your home can be stressful for cats and dogs. Having a safe place to hide and relax also means that they do not get let out of the house when Halloween trick-or-treaters knock on the door. For a relaxing atmosphere, you can switch on the TV or play some music. Do not force your dog to interact with trick or treaters especially if he does not like rough petting. Keeping him in a back room away from the crowd can be a good idea. Teach your dog to stay at the doorway by rewarding him with treats.
Keep The Candy Out Of Paws Reach
As you collect the treats, remember that candy can be dangerous for the dog. Hard candy can be a choking hazard. Raisins are highly toxic to dogs and nuts can cause a stomach ache for the dog. On Halloween, there will be plenty of candy dropped on the ground and you need to keep an eye on your dog, so he does not pick up the candy. Ensure that all the collected candy is stored properly out of his reach. Ensure everyone in the house knows that they should not feed the candy to the dog. Educate them on the dangers of giving the dog candy so they understand why they should not do it.
In the end, you want your dog to enjoy the adventure of trick or treating you need to keep him safe. If he is not comfortable around strangers, it would be a better idea for him to stay at home with a pet sitter while you trick or treat. If he will be going with you keep him safe and hydrated throughout the night. Engaging in fun dog activities for him is an added bonus.