We’re more than halfway through the month of October. That means we’re rounding the corner towards the spookiest day of the year.
Incorporating your furry friend into your Halloween plans is a great way to celebrate the holiday. But we mustn’t put their safety on the back-burner when searching for the perfect costume. Beyond outfitting your canine pal, you also have other considerations to take into account, too. Especially if this is your dog’s first Halloween!
Follow the pet safety tips below to keep your dog safe this Halloween!
Halloween is a wonderful photo opportunity for your pets. There’s a big market out there for pet costumes! But dressing your dog up in a Captain America costume probably won’t be in your pet’s best interest.
Ease up on constraining straps
Some costumes can be too tight for your pet whether it’s due to the fabric choice or the straps. Non-stretch fabrics restrict flexibilities are definite no-nos. Your dog wants, and needs, to have as much mobility as they normally do on any other day. If their costume is too tight, they’ll squirm and be uncomfortable when walking around. As for straps, you can use simple straps to loosely secure a doggy parka, but the keyword is loose. The same caution should be applied to their hats!
Let up on the layers
Having too many layers is also an issue. Particularly when your dog has a thick, double coat. Unless the weather calls for it, skip the layers! You’ll want to avoid dressing your pup up in the long and complicated dressings of a Victorian aristocrat. They might have problems eliminating waste, walking around, and can even overheat. Pay attention to the costume’s material, and choose one with plenty of stretch or one that exposes your lovable pup’s limbs for mobility.
Keep it simple!
Our best advice is to keep things simple. We’ve seen some elaborate doggy costumes in our days, but the cutest ones are the ones that let the dog’s best features shine through! Altering a single part of their look, from adding reindeer antlers to a Santa hat conveys the character loud and clear. Who needs all those bells and whistles anyway?
Now, let’s move on to our tips for the night-of. Because the activities typical of Halloween involve indoor and outdoor environments, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of keeping them indoors or letting them outside. Let’s take a look at these scenarios…
Ready your dog ahead of time
One of the biggest traditions of Halloween is the parade of young trick-or-treaters after sunset. But even if it was a highlight of your childhood, it may not be a pleasant experience for you puppy pal. The frequently ringing doorbell and strangely outfitted humans at the front door can be troubling for your pet.
Even the calmest dog can become frightened by the barrage of strange sounds and sights. If you plan on handing out candy, you may wish to condition them ahead of time. In the coming days, start ringing the doorbell ahead of entering your home. You can then reward them once they see you. They’ll learn to associate the ringing doorbell with a positive experience. It’ll ease them of worry or anxiety on the day it really counts!
And make sure your treats are placed out of reach for your curious pup! More on this later…
Decorate with caution
Thick cobwebs, burnt skeletons, and carved pumpkins are everywhere this time of year. Even if you are a pet owner, you are still entitled to decorate your home. But when you have pets that love exploring and playing with new toys, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when decorating.
Untrained dogs and newborn pups will likely get their paws (and jaws) on a few items they’re not supposed to. You’ve probably covered the bases when it comes to loose charging cables and electrical outlets. But in the spirit of decorating, it’s easy to overlook how they will react with new items around the house! Evaluate each aspect of your decor and see how they act. You never know what will send your pup into a frenzy of excitement, so be careful when introducing new stimuli. Use their reactions as a benchmark for Christmas, too!
Our final tip is to ensure your pet is safe if they’re out at the same time as trick-or-treaters. Halloween candy should be kept well out of your pet’s reach. From common food allergies to straight up toxic ingredients, there are lots of confections circulating on the paths you’ll walk your dog. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious health problems, not to mention the infamous effects of chocolate.
Although we don’t understand why kids will throw out perfectly tasty chocolate, some chocolate bars do end up on the sidewalk. Be careful when walking your dog on Halloween night and the next morning!
Here’s to a happy Halloween for you and your furry friends!
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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!
Incorporating your dog into your Halloween plans is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Here are 6 pet safety tips to ensure they’re safe during the fun!