Halloween safety and puppies requires more than taking precautions for a single night on October 31st. The nights leading up to Halloween bring visitations from a wide assortment of ghosts, goblins, and gremlins. Halloween at its best is a night of mystery, fun, and thrills for human children and many adults. Some puppies may even enjoy wearing Halloween costumes. But other times it can be a nightmare for your furry kids.
Halloween Dangers for Puppies
The calmest, most laid-back pet may get his tail in a twist when masked villains with flapping capes ring the front doorbell. Puppies identify friends and family not only by scent, but also by appearance.
Remember how King barks and growls and doesn’t recognize Uncle Jerry when he wears that baseball cap? Just imagine how King will react to a rubber mask that covers the neighbor child’s face!
Dogs faced with unfamiliar people, especially if they wear “scary” outfits with capes that flap, or carry objects that look dangerous like a noisy trick or treat bag, a flashlight, or “sword” that looks like a real weapon may react with fear. A fear reaction reduces some poor dogs to hiding under the bed. But other pups attack and bite to make the scary intruder go away.
Puppies that aren’t frightened still get excited by all the activity. Strangers coming in and out of the yard, forgetting to latch the fence gait or leaving the door ajar is a recipe for disaster. A puppy can run after kids out the door, race away if frightened, and get lost, hit by a car, or injured by other animals.
Save your sanity and give your pets peace of mind by confining them in a safe room on Halloween night. That way, they aren’t tempted to bark at each doorbell ring, or dash outside. You don’t want them scared—or to scare others—on this night and spoil the fun for everyone.
Puppy Proofing for Halloween
- If your children plan to visit homes where you know pets reside, call ahead. Ask neighbors about confining their pets for all the reasons mentioned here. If you aren’t sure of the pet status at a particular house, why not skip that visit to be safe. Just as you don’t want your child frightened or injured, neither do you want to be responsible for a beloved pet becoming lost.
- I strongly urge that ALL pets be confined indoors on Halloween night, even if you don’t expect trick-or-treaters. For outdoor pups, shutting them up in the garage for a few nights before the holiday could save their lives.
- It’s not a bad idea to confine solid black and solid white pups for up to a week leading up to the holiday. There are some truly sick “demons” that do mean, nasty things to pets at this time of the year.
- Remember that the days before and after Halloween offer indoor temptations that also pose dangers, especially for sweet-toothed puppies. Make sure your children keep candy out of reach. Puppies can get into under-the-bed hiding spots and can pig out on these treats. And puppies don’t know how to unwrap candy, so the foil wrappers or lollipop sticks inside his tummy may cause as much danger as the sweets.
- Stashing candy on table tops may not keep a determined counter-surfing pooch at bay. One year my German shepherd climbed onto the kitchen table and ate an entire bowl of suckers. A latched cupboard for candy is a good choice.
Practice puppy Halloween safety and avoid these dangers by planning ahead. Let your puppies do “tricks” for their healthy “treats” the rest of the year with fun clicker training games. But give them Halloween night off in a safe room of their own.