5 Halloween Safety Tips For Your Dog
October 26, 2022 | 3 min read
Updated September 25, 2023
By Becca Trigg
Summary: If you’re excited about Halloween and own a pet, it's worth considering their experience of this holiday too. In this blog, we learn how to keep your dog safe over Halloween. From costumes to pumpkins, we'll learn the do's and don'ts for pups when you're celebrating Halloween together…
With Halloween fast approaching, our evenings will soon be filled with doorbell rings, laughing children full of sugar and candy, and the odd celebratory firework. It is an exciting, noisy, and busy time of the year, full of frequent knocks on the door and a regular influx of people looking very different, with masks, makeup, and strange costumes on – which may all become a bit too overwhelming and confusing for your pup.
As this busy period is creeping upon us, we, as puppy parents need to make sure that our dogs feel safe, comfortable, and happy to get them through the festivities. Halloween, in particular, is an extremely stimulating time, with both visual and audio distractions and stresses – not to mention the sudden rise of candies and yummy treats everywhere, leading to irresistible temptations.
Here at PetLab Co., we have compiled a list of things that can help you and your pup get through the Halloween weekend without injury, illness, or stress.
Halloween Dog Safety
Candies Are Not Good
Halloween is a time when candy, chocolate, and other yummy treats are in abundance – which can all become extremely tempting for your pup, so keeping an eye on what they eat is imperative. All types of chocolate – particularly dark – can be lethal if your dog was to consume it. Chocolate poisoning has some obvious symptoms, so if you notice your dog vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, seizures, fast breathing, or an increased heart rate, seek medical assistance as soon as you’re able.
Other candies produced at Halloween contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol – which is also poisonous. Even a very small amount of the sweetener can cause lots of health issues for your dog; including seizures and sudden lack of coordination. The best thing you can do is make sure that these food are not available to your furry baby and know the symptoms if something was to go wrong.
Be Aware Of Pumpkins
This time of year, there will be an abundance of these colourful large round fruits. They will be on the doorsteps of most houses, outside shops, and inside your own home. Although they look (and taste) amazing, your pup will also want to try a little bit of this temperate snack. While small amounts of pumpkin is completely safe – and has some health benefits, consuming uncooked can cause some serious health issues for your pup.
Gastrointestinal problems can occur and may cause an intestinal blockage if large pieces of uncooked pumpkin are eaten. Also, there is the potential chance of mold to worry about. If your dog were to devour a part of the fruit that is moldy, the mycotoxins – a type of chemical that is created by a fungus - can cause neurological problems.
So, best bet is to keep the raw pumpkins as far away from your furry friend as possible – however, you can feed your dog fresh pumpkin that’s been properly cooked or roasted. But, never feed your dog canned pumpkin pie. It’s often artificially sweetened with xylitol which is incredibly toxic to dogs!
Don’t Leave Your Pup Outside
With the sudden influx of more and more people walking the streets, trick or treating, sometimes things can get a little out of hand – particularly with the tricks. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for poor pets to go missing, teased, or even tormented on Halloween night! Our advice is to not take the risk.
Being left alone outside can become rather stressful for your pup, too. The excitement and the loud noises may bother your pup and scare them – but they will have nowhere to take refuge. Try to keep them inside if you can, so you can avoid any chance of your pup being taken or feeling overwhelmed.
Costumes Can Cause Stress
Doggy costumes have become extremely popular over the years, with many being made for every occasion – but are some of us forcing our dogs to do something they’re not comfortable with? Not only can these bother them, but sometimes us humans dressing up can cause them a lot of stress – which could turn into aggression and anger!
Halloween Dog Costumes
Although seeing your favorite furry friend dressed up as a pumpkin or a ghost is adorable, they might not feel the same fondness towards the situation and could actually be causing them an awful lot of stress and anxiousness. If you're planning to pop your pup into a costume this year, but want to make sure it won't leave them feeling spooked, keep an eye out for these 4 signs that they might be unhappy...
- Frozen body
If you have a nervous or overprotective dog, you may notice that they start to behave differently when they’re around humans dressed up. Our pups don’t know what people are wearing costumes, they just see it as a strange threat – which may make them feel nervous and anxious or aggressive.
Knowing how your dog will react to these situations is key and can help you keep them separate from these negative stimulants or manage their stress levels. You could consider giving them a natural, dog-specific calming aid if they really stress themselves out over costumes...
Keep Lit Pumpkins Away
Now, we all know how beautiful and festive a lit Jack-O-Lantern can look – it can make a simple front room look like a spooky abode, but, that bright fruit will be incredibly attractive to an inquisitive pooch. Even if your dog takes no notice of the bright orange decoration, during a moment of excitement, they may knock it over, causing a mess or a potential fire.
Try to keep your Jack-O-Lantern on a high shelf or somewhere that your pup can’t reach. This will help to prevent accidental fires either to the house or your pup themselves. The last thing you want is to have a poorly pup who has burnt themselves on the flame inside the pumpkin.
Dogs + Halloween
The excitement of Halloween can be felt by our furry friends which can unsettle them. Although not every dog will be affected by this holiday, some struggle with anxiousness – and let’s face it, all of them want to get involved with the candy eating! It is our job as a puppy parent to make sure that they’re safe, comfortable, and happy during times of mass excitement and potential confusion – we can’t easily explain to our canine companions that there is a human behind the strange costume or that the bright orange fruit can’t be played with or eaten. But, by following these few simple and easy guidelines, you should have an easy, enjoyable, and exciting Halloween together.
An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies