How to Trick or Treat Safely With Your Dog

Trick-or-Treating Safely with Your Dog

Halloween is on the way! That means time to prepare the whole family for trick-or-treating, furry kiddos included.

Young Girls Trick or Treating with Dog for Halloween

But just like all children, doggies have their own unique needs when it comes to enjoying a safe, healthy, happy holiday. For instance, decorations hanging from trees and shrubs may seem like "fun" scary to most of us. But to dogs, witches, ghosts, goblins, and ghouls flapping about can be REAL scary. Add in strobes, fog machines, and folks jumping out of bushes to say "boo!" and, yikes, your canine companion doesn't always realize it's supposed to be fun.

There's also concern about treats that aren't good for pets, especially chocolate, which is toxic for dogs and cats. But, no worries, as we’ve put together a quick checklist that’ll ensure that everyone in the family has a Happy Halloween!

Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Trick-or-Treating with Your Dog

Here are a few precautions you can take so your best friend has a fun and safe time too:

  • Avoid visiting "haunted" yards and houses that may have too many frightening surprises for your pup, especially ones with sound machines, strobes, and pop-ups.
  • Never give candy or human treats to your dog, especially those containing chocolate, which contains caffeine and theobromine. Both compounds are toxic to animals. Keep in mind that ALL sugary treats are in the canine no-no category, as they can lead to obesity, diabetes, and the same health problems they cause in us. Sugar-free doesn't mean safe either. The artificial sweetener Xylitol can cause liver failure in dogs, which ISN'T the kind of scary that makes Halloween fun!
  • Does your pup love fruit, berries, or carrots? Bring them along as snacks! If not, their favorite healthy treat can take the place of sweets and high-calorie human snacks. Remember that just because they can't have candy doesn't mean they don’t get both tricks and treats, too.
    Rottweiler Puppy Dressed as a Bat for Halloween
  • Remind those around you not to give unapproved treats to your dog. Also, be sure your human children keep the goodies out of reach of all pets once you get home.
  • Along with healthy treats, be sure to bring water and other necessities your dog needs on an outing, such as a sweater if it's chilly and a glow-in-the-dark collar for safety.
  • If your dog becomes bored, anxious, or otherwise not into the activity, have an exit plan prepared so you can take them home. You can even plan an alternate route just for them so that your human children can continue the good times uninterrupted.
  • Always keep a leash on your dog and be aware of smaller dogs in groups. Small pups can easily be stepped on and injured in the dark. So, it's often best to pick them up or use a carrier when things are too risky. Plus, this allows you to get creative with costumes, such as a REALLY fuzzy baby in a stroller!

Above all, make sure your pup gets in on the fun of wearing a costume. Need help with doggy costume ideas? We’ve got you covered here with a few we know you're going to like. Remember, though, safety AND dignity both count!