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Dog Owners Beware: 9 Spooky Dangers Threatening Your Pups On Halloween

by Johanna Silver
Johanna is a writer who lives, works, and volunteers in New York.

Halloween is almost here, meaning many families are currently preparing for a full night of costumes, candy, and haunts.

And while all the festivities can be delightfully spooky for humans, they can also be uncomfortable and stressful for dogs.

Pooches that are a bit squeamish around strangers can become terrified by all of the costumed kids walking around outside or ringing the doorbell.

Even some of the most seemingly harmless aspects of Halloween — like the costumes, candy, and decorations — can be dangerous or fatal for your furry baby.

Just like when you take them to the beach, on a hike, or on a road trip, it’s important to prep your dog with safety precautions to keep their tail wagging through any scenario.

These Halloween-themed safety tips will ensure that your pet feels safe and happy on the big costume-clad night.

Halloween is supposed to be little scary, but these tips will ensure that there is no real danger for your dog.

Warning #1: Keep Pups Away From Halloween Candy

Warning #1: Keep Pups Away From Halloween Candy
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Halloween night will be filled with candy, especially if you have kids or are anticipating trick-or-treaters.

This is great for those who have a sweet tooth, but candy and chocolate can be deadly for your dog.

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises that all candy and chocolate be placed well away from your pooch so they don’t accidentally eat it. 

If they do end of getting into the candy, call the Pet Poison Hotline, or head to the vet.

Warning #2: Beware Of Doggy Halloween Costumes

Warning #2: Beware Of Doggy Halloween Costumes
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Dressing our dogs up in little sweaters and costumes is admittedly pretty darn cute — but costumes can be very stressful for dogs, and sometimes even dangerous.

If you have to dress up your pooch, make sure that the costume doesn’t affect their sight, breathing, hearing, or body temperature.

Additionally, cheap Halloween costumes are notoriously flammable, so keep a very close eye on costumed pets at all times.

It’s probably best to avoid pet costumes altogether — even if your pup would look very cute as a little lobster or ghost.

 

Warning #3: Don't Leave Lit Jack-O'-Lanterns Unattended

Warning #3: Don't Leave Lit Jack-O'-Lanterns Unattended
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Almost everyone will have a cool carved pumpkin on their porch for halloween — but it’s important to keep them outside and away from your dog.

Curious pups love to explore new sights and smells, and a candle-lit pumpkin might be very intriguing for your pet, but a burnt snout can quickly ruin your Halloween fun.

Warning #4: Move Anxious Dogs Away From Trick-Or-Treaters

Warning #4: Move Anxious Dogs Away From Trick-Or-Treaters
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If your pet gets a little hyper or anxious when the doorbell rings, move him to another room before the trick-or-treating begins.

However, avoid moving your pup to the backyard for the night, as Halloween mischief might leave him vulnerable if left all alone.

It’s best to keep him indoors, in a quiet room, far from the sound of the doorbell and knocking. Provide treats and comforts to keep him calm.

Warning #5: Keep Fall Decorations Out Of Reach

Warning #5: Keep Fall Decorations Out Of Reach
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Pumpkins, gourds, and colorful corn are common Halloween decorations. While they’re not toxic for animals, if consumed, they can cause life-threatening gastrointestinal problems.

So make sure they are away from curious dog mouths by placing them in a high space or outside.

If you suspect your dog might have consumed a decorative object, take him to the vet immediately.

Warning #6: Don't Let Pups Into Your Halloween Party

Warning #6: Don't Let Pups Into Your Halloween Party
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Even if you are only having a small festive get-together, The Humane Society suggests that you keep your dog in another room for the festivities.

Dogs may become overwhelmed by strangers in the house, especially ones in crazy costumes, so keeping them in another room ensures that they will stay calm.

Warning #7: Take A Walk Before Trick-Or-Treating Begins

Warning #7: Take A Walk Before Trick-Or-Treating Begins
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

It may be tempting to take your dog on a Halloween stroll, but all of the costumes, children, and decorations could overwhelm them.

If you know that your dog gets a little jumpy around new people, plan to walk them before the big night begins.

And, since many tiny trick-or-treaters usually call it a night pretty early, you can even take them out after for a less crowded Halloween walk.

Warning #8: Ensure They're Tagged And Visible

Warning #8: Ensure They're Tagged And Visible
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you do plan on taking your dog out on Halloween, or anticipate your door being opened and closed often for trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet’s collar features all of his proper ID.

Also, make sure your dog is visible to pedestrians and cars during nighttime walks with a LED collar clip or reflective vest.

While your precious pup should be tagged, chipped, and well-lit all year long, it’s especially important during holidays, when the hustle and bustle might makes it easier for him or her to escape.

Warning #9: Keep Them Close In Scary Or Overstimilating Situations

Warning #9: Keep Them Close In Scary Or Overstimilating Situations
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

While you’re on your nighttime walk, it’s best to keep them very close. This will provide comfort from all the spooky sights, confusing costumes, and Halloween activity.

And as always, keep your dog on his or her leash at all times. No matter how well-disciplined, it only takes a second for a startled pooch to run off into the night.

Does your pup enjoy Halloween? How do you keep him or her safe on this spooky night?

Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE these lifesaving Halloween tips with other dog owners!