So you’re all dialed in for the perfect Halloween: you’ve scored the motherload of Jolly Ranchers and Kit Kats, carved a jack-o-lantern that is nothing short of a masterpiece, and nabbed the slickest costume for your four legged friend.
At its core, Halloween is all about thrills and chills—but when it comes to pet safety, we prefer to keep things horror-free. Read on for everything you’ll need to know about Halloween pet safety and how to keep things from escalating to a scene straight out of Cujo.
Halloween Pet Safety 101
Caped crusaders yelling loudly for candy can turn a perfectly sensible dog into Jack Torrance a la The Shining in a heartbeat. A cracked door can begin to look like the perfect escape route to an unsettled pooch.
In the event that your dog slips out the door, it’s crucial for them to have visible identification so they are able to make their way back home with the help of a kind soul.
Take the right precautions
If your buddy tends to get skittish around large groups of people, you’re going to want to do some stress control beforehand.
We suggest making sure your buddy has gotten ample exercise earlier in the day to take the edge off in the evening. Ensure they have a fun toy to gnaw on throughout the night to stay occupied.
Stash the goods in a safe spot
Avoid placing candy on low lying spots like coffee tables, on chairs, and even bottom cabinets. When a golden retriever decides he wants to get into whatever is making the crinkly sounds, nothing can stop him…not even lack of opposable thumbs or plastic wrap.
Do a dress rehearsal
If you’re going to be dressing your pet for the festivities, first, measure your pet and make sure the costume you’ve chosen is the right fit—and remember, some pets simply won’t tolerate costumes, so your pet’s comfort comes before cuteness or fashion.
Do a dry run the night before to make sure nothing will be obstructing your buddy’s ability to see, walk, or breathe. Whether your buddy’s going out dressed as a taco or a pirate, safety and functionality trump fashion.
It goes without saying that a candlelit jack-o-lantern and your dog’s wagging tail are two things that don’t belong in the same equation.
Things like electrical cables, candles, and small gourds should be discreetly placed and you’ll want to make sure those fake cobwebs are high enough that your dog can’t reach them.
If your pal is prone to chewing, you may want to strategically place your decorative scarecrow in the yard or porch as well.
Be mindful of stranger danger
Because there are going to be a lot of strangers milling about the neighborhood, it’s best to keep your buddy indoors on Hallow’s Eve.
Keeping your buddy indoors is a win-win situation for all, because you’re going to need some extra comfort while you watch all the Wes Craven and John Carpenter films you’ve queued up for the night.
Have the right kinds of treats on hand
You should also be mindful of where you place your fall-inspired cocktails and pumpkin beer if you’re hosting a soiree, because alcoholic beverages are potentially lethal to dogs.
Be sure to have lots of dog friendly treats like seasonal pumpkin biscuits or DIY treats around to reward your buddy for good behavior and putting up with the ridiculous costume you strapped her into this year. If all else fails, carrots and apples will also do the trick!