Halloween Safety For Your Dog

So, you’re all dialed in for the perfect Halloween: you’ve scored the motherload of Jolly Ranchers and Kit Kats, carved a jack-o-lantern that is nothing short of a masterpiece, and nabbed the slickest costume for your four legged friend.

At its core, Halloween is all about thrills and chills—but when it comes to pet safety, we prefer to keep things horror-free. Read on for everything you’ll need to know about Halloween pet safety and how to keep things from escalating to a scene straight out of Cujo.

PROPER IDENTIFICATION: Caped crusaders yelling loudly for candy can turn a perfectly sensible dog into Jack Torrance a la The Shining in a heartbeat. A cracked door can begin to look like the perfect escape route to an unsettled pooch. In the event that your dog slips out the door, it’s crucial for them to have visible identification so they are able to make their way back home with the help of a kind soul. Don’t forget to make sure microchip registrations are up to date so you’ll know if he winds up in a shelter or at a vet’s office.

TAKE THE RIGHT PERCAUTIONS: If your buddy tends to get skittish around large groups of people, you’re going to want to do some stress management beforehand. We suggest making sure your buddy has gotten ample exercise earlier in the day to take the edge off in the evening. Give them a comfortable space with ambient noise to distract them from the door-knocking and trick-or-treating. Ensure they have a fun toy to gnaw on throughout the night to stay occupied.

STASH THE GOODS IN A SAFE SPOT: Avoid placing candy on low lying spots like coffee tables, on chairs, and even bottom cabinets. When a golden retriever decides he wants to get into whatever is making the crinkly sounds, nothing can stop him…not even lack of opposible thumbs or plastic wrap.

DO A DRESS REHEARSAL: If you’re going to be dressing your dog for the festivities, do a dry run the night before to make sure nothing will be obstructing your buddy’s ability to see, walk, or breathe. Whether your buddy’s going out dressed as a taco or a pirate, safety and functionality trump fashion every time.

DECORATE RESPONSIBLY: It goes without saying that a candlelit jack-o-lantern and your dog’s wagging tail are two things that don’t belong in the same equation. Things like electrical cables, candles, and small gourds should be discreetly placed out of reach from chewers and you’ll want to make sure those fake cobwebs are high enough that your dog can’t reach them.

BE SURE YOUR TREATS AREN’T TRICKS: Candy of any kind (especially chocolate and anything with xylitol) is a huge no-no for dogs. Be sure to have lots of dog friendly treats like these around to reward your buddy for good behavior and putting up with the ridiculous costume you strapped her into this year. If all else fails, carrots and apples will also do the trick!