With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a good time to start planning. If this is a holiday you celebrate, you’re likely thinking about dog Halloween costumes or stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters. Or maybe, your household does not observe this holiday and you’re making alternative plans? Regardless, keeping your dog in mind is a good idea as, sometimes, Halloween can make your dog uncomfortable or disrupt their routine.
Here are five tips to keep your dog happy during this ghostly season:
1. Dress your dog in something comfy
If you choose to dress your dog up this Halloween season, make their comfort your primary concern. Just about everyone has a memory of being dressed up for a special occasion in an outfit that looked great but didn’t feel nice. Your dog’s costume is no different. Keep your pet in mind when you get them dressed for this Halloween season because a comfier dog is a happier dog.
Consider outfitting your dog in a homemade costume. Doing it yourself gives you more control over the fabric, fit, and ultimately, comfort. According to MarketWatch, pet owners this upcoming Halloween are estimated to spend $480 million on costumes. With this astonishing figure in mind, a homemade outfit might also be a money-saving opportunity.
2. Take your dog for a walk to expend restless energy
On Halloween, it’s not unlikely that you’ll have more visitors than usual coming by your doorstep. This added number of unfamiliar visitors, doorbell ringing, and knocking could make your dog(s) more excited than usual. We have a list of tips to keep your dog calm in moments like these. One tip we recommend this season is to take your dog on a walk or run to get some fresh air.
With the changing seasons, you might have to adjust your walk schedule—and the same might be the case for days that coincide with holidays. Consider going for an extra exercise-oriented outing just before trick-or-treaters arrive. This could help alleviate an overly or easily excitable dog.
3. Designate yourself as a friendly house
Just as doorbell ringing could trigger excitement and barking in your dog, so too might strobe lights or scary sounds. According to American Kennel Club, “in bright light, dogs see the world a bit blurry, but they do see better than we do in dim light.”
Keeping your home without bright or strobing lights and loud, frightening sounds might be a tremendous relief to your dog and dogs in your area.
4. Observe standard Halloween hours
Trick-or-treating hours vary by region. Generally, regular Halloween hours tend to fall somewhere between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Knowing what time this takes place can help you plan out how long you’ll be departing from your schedule as well as when you can return to normal.
Find out what the window of hours for your area so that you can observe participating hours if you are out celebrating and avoid disturbing anyone who has returned to their routine outside of this time frame.
5. Keep candy up and away from your dog
Unfortunately, several foods that are exciting Halloween treats to receive can be toxic to your pet. Check out this list we’ve compiled of poisonous foods to keep away from your dog. To prevent your dog from ingesting anything they shouldn’t, it’s best to keep your bowl of candy on a high shelf where your dog can’t reach.
Be mindful, especially, of candy containing chocolate. Chocolate ingestion is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in the worst cases, threaten your dog’s life. The severity of poisoning is dependent upon the size of your dog.
Given the gravity of this risk, it’s best to keep chocolate and other candy as far away from your dog as possible. American Kennel Club offers these tips for what to do in the event of chocolate toxicosis.
Halloween can be a fun and festive day to explore what it might feel like to look unlike yourself—and the same goes for your pet, too! It’s important to keep in mind how this could affect your dog’s routine and make changes accordingly to keep them comfortable so they can celebrate by your side. Consider implementing these tips to make your Halloween as dog-friendly as possible.
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Check out our blog for more tips, tricks, and stories.