Halloween For Dogs: Safety Tips and Costume Ideas
It's almost that frightful time of year again!
Halloween is widely celebrated by children and adults of all ages, and amongst those who dress up, we find an increase in festive pets. Many pets are dressed up in costume each year to partake in the day's festivities. And each year more and more costumes are mass produced, offering selections from your favorite movies, celebrities, animals, cultures, and more... How could one resist?
While we enjoy including our furry pals in this tradition, there are a few things we need to be on the lookout for. Read below for some safety tips on how to keep your dog safe this Halloween. And enjoy our festive costume ideas down below!
Be Mindful Of Loud Noises
Many dogs will go berserk at the sound of a doorbell ringing, loud and appalling noises such as screaming or raised voices, even bangs and knocks at the door. Be mindful that your door will be ringing heavily at certain times throughout the night. Kids will be raising their voices with excitement or loudly greeting you with "trick or treat," 'treat' being a word most dogs will get excited for. So be cautious of all the sounds you will be hearing and how your dog reacts in these situations.
A Safe Space For Your Dog
If your dog doesn't react well to the above-mentioned noises, maybe find a safe area away from the sounds that they can relax in. Gate them off in a separate room or leash them, so they don't continually run to the door. Make sure you section them off with a bed, water, and their favourite toys -- This may distract them from the noise.
Also, keep in mind that some Halloween guests may be fearful of dogs. So by keeping them away from the door, you are preventing an uncomfortable situation.
If you aren't home alone, have someone in the house sit with your dog and comfort them throughout the excitement of the night, should they need that. If you are alone, try calming your dog down before answering the door, especially if they are over anxious.
Potential Costume Hazards
When buying a costume for your pet, however adorable it may be, make sure the size is a good fit. Anything too tight can cut off circulation. Make sure the costume offers room around the neck and isn't restricting any movement along the body.
If your dog doesn't seem comfortable wearing clothing, don't subject them to it. You can tell if your dog likes it by his/her actions and by their movements.
Using Your Dog As A Scare Tactic
Despite how 'cute' or 'funny' it may be, your dog has feelings and can suffer emotional damage just like us humans. Don't subject them to pranking.
Years ago, Halloween dog pranks went viral and however 'funny' it may be, is it worth subjecting your pet to that experience just for a laugh?
Trick or Treating With Your Dog
If you decide to bring your dog trick or treating with the kids, make sure you are still able to watch your dog closely. It's common for children to dig into their candy as they walk from house to house, the most popular items being chocolate; a hazard to dogs. Wrappers and half-eaten candy can often time be seen on the ground, so you'll want to keep a close eye on your dog to make sure nothing hazardous is picked up off of the ground.
If you are taking your dog out to trick or treat, make sure your pet is equipt with identification on their collar. It will be a busy night outdoors, you don't want your dog to get lost in the shuffle.
Keeping an LED light handy or an LED tag on your pet's collar will be helpful as well. You can view the area to make sure hazards aren't accessible, and you can keep your pet visible so no one accidentally harms them.
Many people like to get into the Halloween spirit by not only dressing up, but also by decorating their home, indoors and out. Candles, pumpkins, inflatables, and noise making scare decorations all play a part in the spooky night. Be careful where you leave open flames and power cords. Try not to keep anything easily accessible for your dog. We know how much they love to eat and chew.
Instead of using an open flame candle, you can opt. for the battery-powered candles.
Rather than having a real pumpkin out, you can opt for a plastic version. While small amounts of pumpkin won't harm your pet, eating larger amounts of raw pumpkin can; it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Keep any chords used for decorations inaccessible, hidden under rugs, or taped off so your dog can't get at them. Chewing is pretty much their national past-time, so try to prevent it if you can.
Candy Bowl Caution
The most common place to leave the candy bowl is by the door; either on a table, a chair, or even on the ground. Keep in mind the size of your dog and what height they can reach. Don't make it easy for them to snatch some candy from the bowl. You wouldn't want them to ingest anything that is potentially hazardous to their health.
Do Not Leave Your Dog Outside
It is not a good idea to leash your pet in the front yard, nor leave them in the back; regardless of the yard being fenced in. There will be many unusual noises on Halloween night, lots of unfamiliar loud voices, doors ringing, etc... Your pet can easily get startled and even react poorly if scared.
Furthermore, not all visitors are humane animal lovers. It is not uncommon for dogs left outdoors to be teased or pranked and even hurt or stolen, so keep a close eye on your pet. Keep them indoors where you know they will be safe, or by your side should they join you outdoors that evening.
Now that we've reviewed some safety tips, let's take a look at adorable dog costumes!
Majority of pet stores, specialty Halloween/party stores, as well as Target and Walmart, will offer a selection of pet costumes each year. Although they tend to sell the same generic outfits, an array of popular costumes will arrive each season. Online retailers such as Amazon will offer a wider variety of costumes for your choosing and many shops will even offer prime shipping on their items, in case you are in a hurry to get it.
Click the Amazon banner below for more costumes ideas. The options are endless.
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