Should your pet go Trick-or-Treating?
What a better night to walk about the neighborhood with your family than Halloween! This night is fun for children and their families all over, so why not include your best friend on four legs? There are a few things to consider when making the decision to bring your pet Trick-or-Treating with you.
First, if just on normal days, your pet is reserved, doesn’t care for children, gets anxious around new people, strange or loud noises, and/or is not a fan of being on a leash, then you can be certain your pet will not enjoy being out on this night. His most enjoyable time would be to stay at home, preferably in a quiet room with his favorite treat or chew toy that will distract him from anything going on outside. If there is a family member staying behind to give out candy, they can check up on him throughout the night.
However, if your pet loves all humans, the kids as well as adults, has been known not to be fazed by strange things, loud noises, and doesn’t mind being leash walked for any amount of time, then celebrating Halloween with the rest of the family may be a very enjoyable experience for him. Don’t forget to bring some water for him though, as walking about will make him thirsty!
Keeping your dog safe while Trick-or-Treating with you
While many people will be on the look-out for kids running around the streets, dogs can be a little harder to spot, especially at night. Make sure to always keep him on a leash while walking about with you. Consider having him wear a reflective harness so he is more visible to cars at night. Make sure his collar is tight enough around his neck so he can’t slip out of it if he gets spooked. If he does get spooked, it may be best for him to stay home instead.
Also, while walking about with your pet, remember to bring baggies just in case he has to do his business and so others won’t step in his mess! Bring some doggie treats with you to reward him for being so good! Do not let anyone give him candy and take a flashlight to watch the ground for any dropped candy your pet might try to eat up.
Keep a constant eye on your dogs’ body language while walking and make sure he is not becoming stressed. If his ears are back, tail is tucked, he’s panting a lot, or he’s struggling to get out of his collar, those are clear indicators he’s stressed and wants to go home.
Remember, if your pet does stay at home and you or a family member are going to be handing out candy, he would be calmest and safest in closed room until you are done. Having strangers in strange clothing coming up to the door can make already anxious pets, even more scared, and may result in your pet trying to escape or cause unexpected aggression. The constant ringing of the doorbell can also cause their anxiety levels to rise, especially if they are already prone to becoming aggravated over the doorbell ringing just once.
Other tips and things to consider on Halloween night:
- Make sure your pet is properly identified by a collar with ID tags and/or microchip in case he escapes from an open door or off the leash.
- Do not feed your pet any candy, especially chocolate or anything containing xylitol, one of the most common sugar substitutes.
- Make sure candy buckets, bowls, bags are out of reach.
- Do not leave your pet out in the yard as they can be the victims of cruel pranksters—most of which have been known to poison, injure, steal, or even kill pets on Halloween.
- Make sure any costume you decide to put on your pet fits properly and is comfortable. Make sure it doesn’t have any small pieces they could chew off and ingest. Also, make sure they can breathe easily in it, see, hear, and move around easily in it. Don’t leave them in it too long, as they could possibly over heat.
- If your pet gets extremely anxious during this night, you may want to consider an anti-anxiety medication to help ease his stress. You can call us to discuss this option more: 210-697-8581.