Mounds Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween can be a fun time for families, but it can also be very stressful for the family dog. Here are some tips from a Dog trainer’s view, on how to make this Halloween season safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Outside the House
Don’t leave your dog outside unattended, even for a moment. Even dogs that are in a fenced in yard may not be safe. Eggs, candy, and other thing, can be thrown over the fence and eaten by your dog. Unfortunately, many kids will tease, taunt, and scare animals on Halloween. Sadly, some pets have even been taken from their yards and end up missing . . .

Keep your dog on leash whenever you take him outside to go to the bathroom. Even the well-trained dog can be spooked by a strange looking person walking around the neighborhood. They may decide to bark at the person or even run away.

Instead of taking your dog trick-or-treating with you, please think about leaving him at home. Dogs that are naturally protective will have a hard time understanding why it’s not alright to bark at the dressed-up kids. Dogs that are at all skittish will have an especially stressful time, on a night-time walk, with kids running around, screaming from door to door. Although it’s wonderful to include your dog in activities, most dogs will be much happier in the quiet comfort of their own home on Halloween night.

Inside the House
If you think about how your dog reacts to the doorbell when it is someone they know, imagine how they will react when they see a “short person” with a strange mask on their face every few minutes. They don’t understand that it’s Halloween and people wear masks! Do not assume that your dog will enjoy greeting Trick-Or-Treating children. Think about putting him somewhere safe; like in a crate or different room, where he can’t see the strangers at the door. This also eliminates the risk of him bolting through the door, or eating some candy behind your back while you are distracted.

For a little kid, approaching a stranger’s door can take a lot of bravery. The majority of kids may be frightened by a big bark from a dog. Even if you know your dog is friendly, other people may still be afraid.

Give your dog something else to do (rather than bark at the door). If someone else is at home, have them play with the dog in a different room to help keep him calm. Give your dog something to chew on to distract them. Kong’s or stuffed marrow bones can be yummy treats that help keep them occupied. Peanut butter, canned pumpkin, or canned dog food are all great ideas to put inside the Kong or bone. Little tip – If you prepare it beforehand you can put it in the freezer. That way it is ready when you
need it; and because it’s frozen, it will take your dog longer to lick out.

Be sure to keep all Halloween hazards out of your dogs’ reach; pumpkins with lit candles, along with Halloween snacks and candies. Dogs will generally eat the candy – wrapper and all. Chocolate is toxic to dogs if they consume enough of it. Taking a moment to think about Halloween safety will help make this a fun and enjoyable holiday for humans and canines alike!

Tail Wags,
Giene Keyes