Halloween is a time of frightful fun for young and old, when kids get to gorge on candy and adults don the most outlandish costumes they can find. It’s a different story for your dog. Crowds of trick-or-treaters bang on the door and ring the bell, as familiar faces turn frightening and howl with laughter. It’s a bewildering scene for even the most laid back dog. But, there’s no reason your pooch can’t enjoy Halloween, too. So before you put out the goodies and transform your home into a house of horrors, make plans to ensure your dog is at ease this All Hallow’s Eve.
Keep it goodie-free
You may be tempted to share your Halloween booty with the family dog, but there are very good reasons to resist the urge. For one thing, chocolate can be lethal to dogs (and cats), so save it for the kids (and you!). Chocolate poisoning in dogs takes some very unpleasant forms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, liver failure and seizures. It can be a jarring experience to see the family’s best friend suffer, and it’s certainly no fun to clean up the remains, so put those Hershey’s kisses out of harm’s way. Some sugars are also bad for dogs (and cats, too) so it’s important to keep your child’s Halloween candy safely out of your pets’ reach.
Watch the door
Halloween means the door will be opening and closing all night. That spells trouble, especially if your dog likes to push boundaries and check out life on the outside. Halloween’s probably not the best time to show people what an adorable pooch you have. Instead, prepare your home and your dog for the onslaught of trick-or-treaters: Keep your furry friend in an isolated space away from the front of the house while little spooks from the neighborhood are visiting. If your dog has a tendency to be aggressive around strangers when things get a little chaotic, you might consider getting a cage or crate for the evening. (Remember, it’s just for a little while, so don’t feel guilty.) And always make sure your dog is microchipped. tag and embedded microchip work very well.
Door-to-door with Biewer
Some dogs are just better around people than others. If yours is a friendly and sociable breed, why not take your dog trick-or-treating with the kids? It can be a great ice breaker, especially with neighbors you don’t know very well.
Of course, taking a dog trick-or-treating on a busy holiday night requires some forethought. Leading up to Halloween, you might want to start taking your dog for walks at night so both of you are used to it. It’s also wise to grab the right gear for walking your dog at night. Reflective dog leashes, harnesses, and collars are important for safety. You can even purchase blinking lights that easily clip onto your dog’s harness or collar.
Another thing to consider is whether to dress up your pup. Believe it or not, doggie Halloween costumes are pretty commonplace these days so as long as your pet doesn’t protest, go ahead and transform your four-legged pal into a canine vampire or witch for the evening.
Of course, you’ll want to be careful not to leave an embarrassing greeting on a neighbor’s lawn, so don’t forget to take along a scoop or plastic glove and a bag for dog droppings. If your dog’s the stay-at-home type, you could form a welcoming committee on the front porch or out in the front yard, handing out treats in tandem. Keep some treats handy to reward your dog for good behavior.
Biewers playing poker?
Who says dogs can’t party? If your neighborhood is well-populated with pooches, invite them to a Halloween “bowser bash” in your yard if it’s large enough, or in a nearby park that has a special area for dogs. Make sure the area is clear of breakable or chewable items. If your invitees’ owners are agreeable, prepare some doggie treats – you’d be surprised how many you can make yourself. Peanut butter and pumpkin treats are a big favorite, and pumpkin puppy muffins are sure to go fast.
Halloween should be a thoroughly fun holiday for the whole family. There’s no reason your Biewer can’t enjoy it too as long as you use some creativity and a little common sense.