Summer is starting to fade and soon the leaves will be changing colour and fall will be upon us. You may have already noticed the Halloween candy, costumes and decorations on display in the stores and the occasion will be here before we know it.
Halloween can be a great fun time for young and old alike, whether you have young children to dress up, an adult dress up party, or even if you just stay home and shell out to all those little ghosts and goblins. But we must keep in mind that the constant ringing of a doorbell and having strange children at your door can cause your pets to become very anxious or frightened. He or she may start barking at the children or even try to snap at them.
So what should we do to keep everyone safe and happy? If your pet is calm and used to having lots of noise and activity around, you may want to dress your dog up in a small, non-confining costume. Have him greet the trick and treaters at the door but, if your dog is shy and nervous and not used to lots of noise and children, put him in his crate or a closed room to keep him calm and to prevent him from running out of an open front door.
If you decide to dress your dog up and take him with you and your children, be sure to have a good leash and collar or a harness on your dog so he is in control at all times in case he becomes anxious or frightened by children in costumes. Please refrain from using a retractable leash which will not give you enough control if he darts away or bolts in fear. You should, as always, be certain that your pet is wearing identification tags with your name and phone number on them in case you become separated from your dog. This also applies if your pet is at home in case he escapes through an open door.
Most importantly, please keep your pet away from all the Halloween candy, especially chocolate, which can be toxic to dogs. You may want to have a few of his own treats on hand to offer him, and he will be just as happy and above all safe. So let’s dress our kids and pets in non-flammable, reflective costumes and be ready for a fun night of tricks and treats.