day’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about ways to keep your dog entertained and safe on Halloween. 

Goblins and ghouls. Princesses and pirates. Superheroes and cartoon characters. The costumes are fun for the children who go door-to-door trick or treating on Halloween. These same costumes and the noise and joy of the children can be terrifying to our dogs, though.

From the knocking at the door to the high-pitched squeals of delight from children to the Halloween decorations, it can be a frightening night for your pooch. Here are some tips pet parents can use to assure their dog isn’t frightened and stays as calm as possible during the trick-or-treating frenzy. (insert link: https://www.dogtv.com/blog/7-ways-to-make-your-dog-happier/)

7 Ways To Keep Dogs Entertained & Safe On Halloween

If you have tiny trick-or-treaters in your home or if you plan to hand out candy at your doorstep, here are our top 7 ways to keep dogs entertained and safe on Halloween:

Keep candy away from your dog. Chocolate and any candy that contains xylitol can be dangerous or deadly to your dog. Make certain all candy is out of reach of your pets.

Costumed dogs are adorable IF they are accustomed to clothing. Don’t use Halloween as the first day your dog is introduced to clothing and costumes. Dressing your dog should be something you slowly introduce him to. Some dogs love being dressed, others don’t. Know your dog. Know his personality and don’t force him into a costume simply because you think it’s adorable. (insert link: https://www.dogtv.com/blog/how-to-recognize-signs-of-stress-in-your-dog-how-to-help/)

Greeting trick-or-treaters safely. Many children are face level with large breed dogs. Don’t put your dog or a child in harm’s way by letting your dog dash to the door to help greet the children. Even the friendliest, most well-behaved dog can be frightened of tiny humans in costumes. It’s best to keep your dog away from the door so no one gets scared or bitten.

Keep your dog leashed. It may seem odd to keep your dog leashed while indoors, but if you’re opening the door and handing out candy, your dog could get scared and bolt out the door. Keep her safe by keeping her leashed. If possible, keep your dog in a separate room or have someone else in the house hold the leash while you hand out the treats. Make certain your dog is wearing a collar with your contact information or that he is microchipped in case he dashes out the door.

Walk your dog early. Before the sun goes down and the tiny tricksters come out, walk your dog and let him do his business. Keep him leashed. Some parents take their children out early to trick-or-treat (before the sun goes down) and you want to keep them safe and your dog under control on his leash.

Keep wagging tails away from jack-o-lantern candles. If you carve pumpkins to decorate your porch steps with, we urge pet parents to use battery-operated candles inside rather than burning candles. Your curious dog (and cats) might love the taste of pumpkin and could be tempted to take a bite out of one and if there is a burning candle, he will get burned. Children in costumes could also be injured if you’re burning candles inside your pumpkins. Battery-operated lights are beautiful and safe.

Hibernate during Halloween. Some pet parents know the sights, sounds, and persistent knocking on the door will keep their beloved dog in a state of panic during the entire time trick-or-treating is underway. If your dog will be in an agitated state, you may want to cuddle her close and “hibernate” during the peak hours. Take your dog, a good book, a special treat, turn off your outside light, and turn on DOGTV. Turning on DOGTV on Halloween (and any time your dog is left home alone) will provide access to  scientifically-proven dog-centric programming that will help her relax and lessen her anxiety.

Click to watch our Halloween Safety video!

Pet parents understand that what is fun for some is stress-inducing for their fur-baby and they do what’s necessary to keep him calm and relaxed and in an environment that has been enriched for his canine enjoyment!

Does your dog like to dress up? Will you be handing out treats to the little tricksters this Halloween? What will you do to keep your dog safe?