Halloween can be a lot of fun for the whole family. You’ve got your list of items to take with you trick-or-treating like extra bags, water bottles, cell phone, and mittens. But what about your dog? Most of the time, bringing your dog along on a walk is no big deal. Leash, harness, waste bags, and you’re done. But Halloween for your dog is like entering an alternate universe. Consider these points before you bring your dog out with you to trick or treat.
Both that of your kids, and your dog, because it could be tricky comforting both at the same time. If your kids are likely to be nervous about spooky decorations and music, or shy to ask for candy, your attention will be divided, which isn’t fair to your dog. If your dog is anxious about people or other dogs, your attention will again be divided and you risk missing watching out for your kids. All of the things that could startle your kids on Halloween can do a number on your dog, too.
In Canada oftentimes our number one Halloween priority is making sure that the kids’ costumes fit over a snowsuit. The weather on October 31st can be wild! If it’s going to be cold, raining, windy, or foggy, leave your dog at home. You’ll both be glad!
Can your dog keep up with the kids while they trick or treat? Even at a slow pace with plenty of rest, you could easily still be out there for 2 hours. Alternatively, will your dog patiently wait while you all stop at every. single. house? You may think it’s no different than your dog stopping to sniff at every single post and pole, but the reason your dog does that is very specific to scents and habit. And you’re likely to be out there stopping and starting for an hour or more. If your dog has high energy, you may want to take them for a walk right after work to appease their need for speed.
There are going to be a lot of other dogs, kids, and adults out and about. Be acutely aware of the risk for your dog biting, being bitten, and at best, you being asked repeatedly by adorable princesses and superheroes, “May I please pet your dog?” Also keep in mind that there may be an increased rate of interaction with kids and adults who are afraid of dogs, so please respect their personal space, too.
Just as you plan to ensure that you and your kids are easily visible, do the same for your dog. Keep a flashlight handy, and be mindful that your dog doesn’t pick up any dropped treats – quite a bit of it is chocolate!
Finally a note about costumes. They are so cute! We know! Make sure that your dog is comfortable in their costume, doesn’t chew at it, and that it won’t impede any of their senses. When in doubt, leave the costumes for the kids.
Why not treat your dog to a grooming session instead of a costume? Check out our multitude of services and book your appointment today by calling (519) 208-5559.