Tips for a Dog-Friendly Halloween
Halloween can be a blast for humans, but it’s rarely a dog’s favorite. Ringing doorbells, strange people, and dog costumes may say “trick” more than “treat,” so here are tips for a dog-friendly Halloween.
- Canine costumes: Watch for stress or anxiety when costuming your dog, and don’t insist if your dog doesn’t like it. Avoid loose parts, choking hazards, masks, heavy materials, and too-tight or too-loose fits.
- Candy isn’t dandy: Keep the treats away, especially toxic chocolate and potentially fatal xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free candy.
- Bring on the pumpkin: Canned and cooked pureed pumpkin is a healthy ingredient in dog treats, offering vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene. Search online for recipes for dog treats made with pumpkin.
- Tricksters and treaters: When the sun goes down, treat your dog to a crate or another confined, quiet place to avoid the stress of doorbells, knocking, and strange trick-or-treaters.
- Tame the decorations: An excited tail can knock over candles, jack-o-lanterns, and other decorations, not to mention the chewing temptation these items offer to dogs. Supervise your dog around decorations, and be careful to avoid accidental ingestion of a whole raw pumpkin.
- Walk the dog: If you take your dog trick-or-treating, make sure adults are always present. Ask yourself—is your dog well socialized, good with kids, relatively calm, and does it obey the “leave it” command when dropped candy is involved? If the answer is “yes” and your dog is coming along for the fun, bring water and extra poop bags. If you aren’t sure, your best bet is to leave the dog behind.