Halloween night can be both thrilling and frightening for many – and dogs are no exception. We all know how eager our companions are to leap into action when confronted by apparent danger – or by indulgent food. Both of these excitements are aplenty on halloween night, so taking steps to look after your pet is important.
Now is as important a time as ever to make sure your pet insurance is up to date so that if anything goes wrong your pet is protected. But to minimise the chance of anything happening to your dog Battersea Dogs Home has released information to support dog owners on halloween night.
While the scary celebrations can provide plenty of fun for all the family, it’s important to make sure that your pet is having fun too, Nathalie Ingham, Canine Behaviour and Training Manager at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says.
“Dogs can get stressed by lots of things at Halloween. Dressing your dog up in extravagant costumes could make them feel uncomfortable and trick-or-treaters constantly at your door could cause them to feel anxious. Thankfully there’s plenty of tips you can follow to keep your dog safe and calm this Halloween”.
Dressing your dog up
‘Although it may be tempting to dress your dog up in a costume, we would recommend that you avoid doing so. Wearing an outfit when they’re not used to it can make your pet very anxious.
There are certain items that dogs have to wear as a legal requirement such as a collar and a tag, so in many cases something as simple as a neckerchief or bandana could be the best costume choice for your dog.
Whilst it is lovely to see all of the fantastic outfits that come to the door, they can scare even the most sociable of dogs.
Try to ensure you take your dog for a walk nice early in the day to give them a chance to go out before all the trick or treating starts.
Provide dogs with a safe space in a separate area from the front door, to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed by the increased activity at your door. Try to provide them with something to keep them busy like a Kong or food toy.
If your dog does not cope with people knocking at the door then it may be worth putting up a sign outside asking visitors not to knock, but take a treat from an outside bucket instead.
Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing a tagged collar
Whilst you should try to ensure you keep your pet away from the front door while you’re greeting visitors, accidents happen and there is still a possibility that your dog could escape.
Make sure that your dog is microchipped and their details up to date, as well as ensuring they’re wearing a tagged collar so that you can be quickly reunited if they do get out.
(Editor’s note: Since 2016 all owners must ensure their dog is microchipped and their details are kept up to date by law. This has helped to rehome an average of 102,000 strayed or stolen dogs each year.)
Halloween is a great excuse for humans to eat plenty of sweet confectionary. But make sure to keep your pet away from any human treats, as many of them are poisonous to dogs.
Chocolate, artificial sweetener (xylitol) and alcohol could all be fatal if your dog consumes them. Even if your pet gets hold of a non-toxic sweet, the wrapping could be a choking hazard or cause a blockage in their intestines. If your pet has eaten anything that they shouldn’t have done, always act immediately and take your dog to the vet.’