HOWL-o-ween can be a very scary and stressful time since costumes and perhaps many visitors are not a part of your canine’s daily life. One suggestion is to keep your dog(s) in a back room/crate with a frozen Kong stuffed with yummy wet food so that the visitors in costumes do not alarm them.
Please be aware that this is also a time when many dogs dash right through the front door and over fences and unfortunately become lost. A costumed canine that escapes or is frightened away, could get entangle on trees, fences, etc. Please make sure all pets have tags and/or are micro chipped!
If your canine companion is very well socialized, this might be the perfect time to practice door manners. If there are two people available, one person can hand out candy while the other trains the dog to sit politely not far from the door. A leash might help with this exercise.
While dressing up a canine in a costume may be viewed as fun for some pet owners, please be aware that not all dogs like to be dressed up in costumes and clothes. Remember when your mom used to make you wear that shirt you just hated? Please respect your canine’s preferences.
If you do plan to dress your canine in a costume please make sure that you supervise him/her. Some canines, if left alone in costume, may chew it up and ingest it. This could cause intestinal obstruction if more than small shreds of material are consumed. Also, be aware of removing all parts of the costume as some parts can get lost in the abundance of fur.
Also, please don’t forget to keep the candy and holiday decorations out of reach from you canines! Especially keep all chocolates away as they are toxic to dogs and can be harmful or fatal if ingested. Have a happy and safe HOWL-o-ween!
Beth Friedman and Wayne Bolen, owners of Canine Companion Consulting, are your local, in-home dog trainers in Fort Collins. Canine Companion Consulting’s mission is to enhance the dog and human relationship by assisting humans to better understand dog culture and behavior which results in a happy, well trained dog. We help canines, one human at a time.
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