Dogs and Halloween go together like, well, dogs and anything. You never know.
At Pet Supplies Plus, we get it. Dogs are part of the family and you want to include them in the fun stuff like trick-or-treating. While your pup may be a social butterfly at the dog park, Halloween is a whole different beast. The sights and sounds of trick-or-treating may be too much for your pet, causing them to get anxious and stressed. If you’re thinking about taking them out with the family for Halloween, ask yourself: Can they really handle the experience?
If the answer is “yes,” “you know it” or “do dogs sniff butts?”, read on. We’ve put together some tips and suggestions that can help make it an exciting, fun-filled night for your boo.
The one thing you need to be for Halloween is prepared. That means having everything you need to make trick-or-treating as safe as possible for your dog. To ensure a good time will be had by all, don’t forget to bring along the following items:
• Reflective Collar or Harness – You and everyone else will need to be able to see your dog when it’s dark. Make sure your dogs have their ID tags on, too.
• A Good Leash – The last thing you want to happen on Halloween is getting separated from your pooch.
• Flashlight – This will help you watch where you’re stepping and if you have to pick up any poop.
• Poop Bags – Your dog could care less if it’s Halloween. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
•Dog Treats – A tasty reward can help turn what might be a scary night into a positive experience. We suggest training treats because they’re a good size for on-the-go rewarding.
Safety First, Second & Third
We think pet costumes are awesome. We’re also biased. Despite our love of seeing a dachshund dressed up as a hot dog, we believe your pet’s happiness and safety are way more important than looking cute.
Your fur baby must be comfortable wearing a pet costume. You also want to make sure the costume doesn’t limit their mobility or impair their vision in any way. Another point to ponder: Your dog should be able to respond to basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” Trust us, they’ll come in handy throughout your All Hallows’ Eve.
Other things to consider:
• Beware of yard décor – For your dog, there’s no such thing as a good scare. Halloween yard decorations can be super spooky and realistic.
•Watch where they’re sniffing – Look out for stray candy and parts of people’s costumes that end up on the ground. These can be toxic to dogs (especially chocolate) or potential choking hazards.
• Avoid traffic congestion – If three’s a crowd, imagine your dog trying to navigate through a parade of trick-or-treaters in the dark. Try to seek out less-busier pathways.
When to Call It a Night
Even if your dog does okay at first, they may raise the white flag at any given moment. With so much going on, they can get easily overstimulated or stressed. Here are some ways to tell when it’s time to head back home:
• Panting or barking
• Hiding or shaking
• Dilated pupils
• Trying to run away from crowds
• Tucking their tail between their legs
• Lots of yawning or licking of lips
• Barking, whining or growling
• Pulling on their leash
• Refusing to walk
There’s no disguising it. Halloween with your dog may require some work and patience, but it can work. If you decide to take your pup trick-or-treating, bring along everything you would for a nightly dog walk plus some treats. Pet costumes are great only if your dog is cool about wearing one. Be your pet’s eyes and ears, watching out for any potential dangers and risks. Last but not least, know when your fur baby has had enough for one night. By following these suggestions, you can make Halloween a real treat for your dog.
Tips provided by: Pet Supplies Plus
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