How to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween

Cooper and the Wee Wee Frenchie team are so excited to finally walk the neighborhood in Cooper’s custom-made cookie monster costume, as well as participate in a few dog Halloween costume contests.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe on Halloween

It has been a busy weekend of socialization and pageantry, while also having a lot of fun too!  We are very lucky since Cooper has always enjoyed dressing up in costumes for special events but we also consider a few questions before attending big social functions.  Most importantly, how can we keep Cooper comfortable and safe this Halloween, while making the day fun and memorable for him?  Below are some tips for how to personalize your day with your dog, while also keeping your Halloween safe, fun, and memorable.

Creating Memories

This year, we wanted to create a custom Halloween costume for Cooper and after a few internet searches, we decided on cookie monster!  Cookie monster was age appropriate for my young three year old dog, and who does not like cookies?  Lucky for Cooper, I went shopping at the craft store, finding fabric and accessories to make his costume.  It was no easy feat trying to make a pattern by measuring Cooper but after two attempts and several hours of work, the cookie monster costume was a success.  It fit perfectly and was a unique costume.  Cooper seemed to enjoy it, and I was honored to dress up as a box of cookies to compliment my little monster.

After all my work, it was finally time to reveal our costumes at the local Halloween dog costume contests.  The “big reveal” of our costumes to the public made all of our hard work worth it!  As Cooper walked by the crowd, it seemed like love at first sight as we heard, “Cookie monster!”  Cooper loved the attention and seemed to pose on cue for photos, as well as strike a sad face when he did not win the contests.  It was truly heartbreaking for the entire Wee Wee Frenchie team when Cooper did not win but he seemed to win the hearts of many, which was a great consolation prize.

7 Tips for keeping your dog safe on Halloween:

Going to Halloween parties, contests, and walking the neighborhood during such a popular holiday requires a lot of attention and supervision in order to ensure the safety of your dog.  Here are some tips to keep your dog safe this Halloween.

  1. Monitor food samples that are being given to your dog.  So many people feel delighted to hand your dog a treat but many dogs have food allergies, which limits feeding options.  Always ask the owner for approval before handing food or treats to a dog!
  2. When at parties or public events, continue to supervise your dog to avoid ingesting food left out on tables, furniture or dropped on the floor.  This step sounds simple enough but when a social event is occurring, as well as many conversations, it can be difficult to see your dog wander off and eat something while you were distracted.  Some foods can have toxic ingredients like xylitol (a sugar substitute) or chocolate, which could cause illness or injury to your dog.  Xylitol poisoning can result in depression, a staggered or drunk walk, vomiting, shakiness, rapid heart beat, or death.  Chocolate overdose can also cause similar symptoms of depression, vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, increased urination, and a fast heart beat.  If you feel your dog has ingested anything toxic or harmful, make sure to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible for emergency evaluation.
  3. Make sure your dog can move comfortably in his costume.  A dog that is not used to wearing a costume can feel anxious, especially if the costume fits tight and restricts movement.  It may be a good idea for the dog to wear his costume around home for acclimation before wearing for extended periods of time in public.
  4. Make sure your dog can be seen if walking around at night, especially dark dogs who can be difficult to see at night.  We like to use an LED dog collar that emits bright light to signal that our dog is in the area.  Drivers, bike riders, or even other pedestrians can easily overlook a small dog walking down the sidewalk, especially if darker in color, like Cooper.  Dog owners should always be vigilant of drivers, or other moving objects, and exercise caution as needed.
  5. Dog-proof your house for holidays.  It should be intuitive but keep cords and dangly Halloween decorations away from high traffic areas where your pet could get tangled.  Also, pumpkins with candles could be knocked over by your dog creating a fire hazard so keep lit pumpkins away from animal areas or use battery powered candles.
  6. On Halloween, remove pets from yard and keep them in the safety of your home. Vandalizers, tricksters, and pranksters have been known to play harmful tricks on animals left outside, especially black-colored animals.  We hate bringing up this issue because harming animals is inexcusable but, nonetheless, keep your animals safe inside!  Also, keeping your animal confined to a room prevents the animal from wandering or escaping the home while tending to trick-or-treaters at the door.
  7. Make sure your pet has on animal tags for identification if an escape occurs.  Animals can escape even under the most strict supervision.  Make sure their tags are up-to-date with current phone numbers and contact information.

Halloween can be a fun time to spend with your dog.  Contests can be a great way to bond with your canine and bring the whole family together with theme-costumes.  Dressing up in costume creates socializing opportunities to meet new and old friends.  Lastly, getting outside for some exercise and fresh air is always good for relaxation and stress reduction for both dogs and their human companions.  Whether you attend a Halloween dog happy hour or participate in a weekend of dog costume contests, make sure to be creative, be safe, and have some fun!  From all of us at Wee Wee Frenchie, Happy Halloween, and we hope your dog gets to eat a lot of dog treats!