Halloween is approaching - that means scary costumes, parties, and lots and lots of chocolate. But what about your dog? Halloween can be a scary time for dogs, and not in a good way. Read our top tips to make sure they’re safe and happy.
1. Dogs might not recognize you dressed up
Remember, although dogs have a great sense of smell, they rely on their eyes - and they might not know who you are if you’re in costume. Don’t tease your dog - simply remove your mask and let them come over to you to have a sniff and see that you’re safe. If your dog is really disturbed, it might be best to shut them away, especially if you’re having a party.
2. Watch out for open doors
With all that Trick or Treating, your front door is going to open a lot this Halloween. With all the scary things going on, that open door might be tempting for your dog. They may also be upset by all the visitors! It might be a good idea to put them in another room with a den and put the television or radio on, like for fireworks.
3. Dogs don’t necessarily want to dress up
There’s something adorable about a dog in costume but it’s important to remember that dogs don’t necessarily want to dress up. They don’t understand it and can be frightened by the feel of the costume. Aside from that, they may be tempted to eat parts of the costume if anxious or bored, and this could cause a blockage. If you do want to dress your dog up, let them get used to the costume by putting it on and taking it off after just a few seconds, praising your dog throughout. Over time, they might get used to it - but don’t force your dog to wear a costume if they don’t want to.
4. Look out for candy!
Whether you have a child who has been trick or treating, or you have a bowl of candy ready to hand out, keep any sweet things well out of reach of your dog. Not only are chocolates poisonous to dogs, but sugar-free sweets can contain xylitol, and the wrappers can get stuck and cause a bowel obstruction. It’s safest to keep all chocolates well out of the way of your pooch and ask any children to do the same.
5. Think about fireworks
Although fireworks are usually reserved for later in the year, they’re often available for sale in October- and people may start setting them off at Halloween. In some ways, these ad-hoc fireworks from the neighbors are scarier for dogs than the large displays- they bang and pop without warning, and often from close by. The best defense against firework fear is desensitization, but this can take weeks, or even months for dogs who already have a firework fear. Instead, you can use ‘firework first-aid’ to help your dog get through. Make them a den from a crate or a desk or table draped in sheets, and fill it with comforting things. You can also use pheromones such as Adaptil to make them more comfortable. Closing the curtains and playing music can help, too. It might be a good idea to have a video call with a veterinarian or vet tech who can assess your setup and help you to adjust it to make the safe space as comforting as possible. You might need to talk to a veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications for the most worried dogs.
Halloween can be a scary time for any dog, but by following our tips you can keep your dog safe and well.
Furthermore, you can always count on the help that the KeepPet application can provide. KeepPet is an application for iOS and Android devices that allows you to have a veterinarian always by your side in every moment of need. Using it is very simple, just download it and decide what type of consultation you would like to receive.
With KeepPet you can save a lot of time and dedicate yourself to the things you prefer.
We hope you enjoyed all of our tips, keep your pet safe and sound!