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How to keep your dog safe this Halloween

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Halloween can be a scary time for pups, so help keep them safe and happy by following these simple tips.

It's that time of the year again, and although many of us look forward to the Halloween weekend for months, for our furry friends the celebrations can be a very stressful experience.

With loud fireworks, visits from trick or treaters and the general excitement surrounding the spookiest night of the year, dogs can react badly to the sensory overload.

Frightened animals are much more likely to run away from home, and although Halloween may look different this year, things as simple as leaving candy laying around can be very dangerous for your dog.

So, here are some easy steps to take to help your pup stay calm and happy this Halloween weekend.

1. Keep your pups inside and away from the door

Inside is definitely better than outside for dogs at this time of the year, so keep your pup in a quiet, confined space indoors where they can feel safe away from all the celebrations.

Putting your dog in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from attempting to escape into the night.

If you're having a few friends over for some quieter celebrations, masks and costumes can make familiar faces unsettling for your pup, so to avoid any scares, keep your pets in their safe room and let guests know it is off limits.

2. Keep candy out of reach

Over Halloween weekend, your home probably has more candy around than usual, so it's vital it is all kept out of reach of your pups.

Chocolate, even in small doses, can be very toxic for dogs, and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and in more severe cases, heart problems, tremors, seizures, and death.

Pets can easily choke on hard candies, so be sure to store any you may have in a safe space where your furry friend doesn't have access to it.

If you want to treat your pup, there's lots of local dog bakeries that make special Halloween themed that are safe and delicious for our four-legged friends - and there's still time to make your own homemade dog treats.

3. Be careful with costumes

Dressing your pup up in adorable costumes is all part of the Halloween fun, but it's important to be mindful of what costumes you are choosing.

Some costumes can "inhibit the animal’s ability to move and communicate through natural body language such as tail wagging or positioning their ears," explains a post by the BC SCPA.

Costumes can also cause pups to overheat, so if you are dressing your dog up, be careful that their costume doesn't limit their movement, sight, or ability to breathe.

And remember, only dress your pup up if they enjoy it!

4. Don't keep lit pumpkins near your pup

Pumpkins make great Halloween decorations, and after all the work that went into carving them, you obviously want to show them off. But be careful where you keep them in your home.

Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire, so keep them, and any candles, high up and out of the reach of any paws.

5. Watch out for dangerous decorations or lose wires

As well as candles, any electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations should also be kept well away from your pup.

"Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed." explains a post on PetMD.

6. Make sure your pet has updated ID

Fear increases the risk of your pup running away, so keep collars and tags on, and make sure that your dog has the up to date identification needed to increase the chances of a safe return.

"Check to make sure your address and phone number attached to the pet’s microchip in the registry is up to date," explains the BC SPCA. "Give a missing pet the best chance of returning home by making sure they have ID and that the contact information is correct."


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