After months of buildup, preparation and planning, it’s finally here. No, not the opening of our brand new 4th location in St. Peters (although we’re pretty excited about that). We’re here to talk about Halloween.
You’ve got you and your furry BFF’s matching costumes, and you’re set for a scare-filled night of fun. But is your dog?
Here’s a hint: your dog’s preparation has little to do with choosing the perfect costume and everything to do with your dog’s state of mind while in that costume.
Our trainer, Laura Pieczynski, is not only adept at helping your dog master his or her behavior, she’s also always happy to share some ideas on keeping them safe. So whether you’re staying in to greet trick or treaters, hitting the pavement to get that candy or just partying it up, here are some tips to keep your pup safe and happy as you celebrate the holiday:
Tip #1 Be sure to keep the candy out of reach. It’s easy to forget and set the bowl of trick-or-treat goodies down within striking distance.
Tip #2 Only the most socialized pets should be near the front door as you pass out candy. Fearful or skittish pups are best kept in another room. The same goes for young, impressionable puppies. If you decide to take you pet trick-or-treating with you, be mindful that masks, hats and noisy costumes can unnerve a dog. Have a nearby designated place for them to settle and stay, or be ready to bring them back home.
Tip #3 If your pup has a costume, make sure it doesn’t restrict vision or movement. These limitations can create vulnerability and defensiveness. Also, dog costumes can limit your ability to read their body language for early warning signs.
Tip #4 If your pup is going out with you, be sure to go prepared–ID tags, treats, water, poop bags, flashlight. Also, have an exit strategy in case the excitement becomes too much.
Tip #5 Remember all the festivities can be stressful on a dog, even good fun. Check in with them, be aware of changing body language and stress signals like panting, growling, whining, and avoidance. If they persist, it’s time to give them a break.
Tip #6 Keep your dog safe from well-meaning kids in costume. They may not be aware of how their appearance can “spook” your pup.
Tip #7 Keep your pets inside, rather than alone in the backyard. Children running around scaring each other and carrying on will at the very least overly excite your dog.
Tip #8 The day after, be on the lookout for remnants of half eaten candy and wrappers on the ground while you’re out walking your dog. Not a good match for Rover’s tummy!
Awareness and precaution will help make it a successful night for all. Happy Halloween!