by Rebecca R.
Turning leaves, crisp autumn air, and ghoulish decorations are all signs that the Halloween season is here! This season comes with specific safety concerns for dogs, so we’ve put together a two-part series with tips to help make sure that you and your dog(s) can safely enjoy this spooktacular time of year.
Pet Costume Alert
Halloween pet costumes have increased in popularity over the past several years. While cute and fun to humans, not all dogs like wearing costumes. It’s best not to dress your dog up unless they demonstrate enthusiasm and are comfortable wearing costumes.
If you do decide to dress your pet, be sure to find a costume that is safe, comfortable, and intended for dogs. A safe fastening for costumes is Velcro. Avoid outfits with small and/or dangling pieces, including buttons, snaps, ribbons, elastic, beads, and gemstones, all of which can be chewed off and swallowed. It’s also essential to avoid costumes that can obstruct breathing or vision, are too tight or restrictive, especially around your dog’s neck or chest, or are simply irritating to your dog. Your dog should be able to move freely and breathe easily in its costume.
Allow your dog time to get used to their costume by having them wear the costume for short periods before Halloween. Patience and positive reinforcement, like treats, can help with this process.
Never leave your dog unattended while in costume. And if you take your dog out in costume, be sure to remove the outfit as soon as you get home. Store the costume in a safe place that is out of your dog’s reach.
If at any point you notice your dog appears uncomfortable, remove the costume. Your dog’s safety and comfort are the priority.
If you like to deck your halls with spooky décor, there are a few things to keep in mind for pet safety. While very popular in Halloween decorations, candles can be dangerous to curious and tail-wagging dogs. A sniff or a wag too close could result in burns. To be safe, we recommend sticking to battery-operated candles.
All décor, including battery-operated candles, should be placed out of your dog’s reach to avoid danger from ingestion. This is especially true for pumpkins and corncobs, which can break into small pieces and obstruct airways and digestive tracts if ingested.