Here at Taste of Home, we seriously love Halloween! (Especially the spooky snacks and DIY costumes.) But when you’re hosting a monster mash or planning on plenty of trick-or-treaters, you might not realize that Halloween can be frightening or even dangerous for dogs. Here’s a quick guide to Halloween pet safety.
Beware Toxic Treats
Dogs will beg for anything, from tasty Halloween appetizers to trick-or-treat sweets. But before you share, beware that many ingredients are dangerous or even deadly for dogs. You probably know that chocolate, even in small amounts, can be very dangerous for dogs. Keep in mind that raisins, nuts, dairy and apples are other serious no-nos.
Keep Candy Bowls Out of Reach
While handing out candy, keep the dish out of reach of inquisitive pets. Dispose of candy wrappers and keep an eye on kids eating candy. Don’t miss our guide on how to pet-proof your home.
Choose a Costume That Isn’t Scary
Few things are cuter than a puppy in a Halloween costume! Many pets don’t love being dressed up, though. To make the experience comfy for your pup, avoid costumes that constrict the head or neck area. Avoid elastic bands that pinch or restrict your pet. And definitely, never constrict your dog’s ability to open his mouth—pets need to be able to pant and breathe freely.
Minimize Doorbell Distress
The noise of the doorbell can trigger many dogs, whether it’s their security guard instinct or friendly greet-the-guests mode. Either way, they’re almost certainly not used to hearing the bell right every minute or two. If your pup is really sensitive, consider handing out candy from the front porch, so no doorbell is needed. Otherwise, your pet might be more comfortable in a room with a closed door and a radio playing to muffle the noise.
Meet-and-Greet Spooky Decorations
Halloween lawn decorations get more elaborate every year. From ghosts drifting from tree branches to inflatable goblins and ghouls, decorations can frighten dogs, especially if they’re large, mobile, equipped with audio features or hidden. Introducing dogs to decorations in the light of day, giving them space to sniff and examine, can make it less startling. Or, skip the outdoor spookiness and focus on spooky snacks instead.
Have a Stressed Pup? Try a Wrap
Some pets get overwhelmed with the hubbub of holidays. Many pets benefit from a pressure wrap, which helps relax them. Check out the ThunderShirt or similar products on Amazon or at your local pet shop.