Halloween is a fun time for kids (free candy, scary masks!) but if you have a dog it can be very stressful. When children come to your door, are you worried about your dog constantly barking at the doorbell? Is your dog worried about all these scary looking strangers intruding on his territory? Here are a few tips for you, your dog, and your kids to make Halloween as safe (and bite-free) as possible!
For your pets:
- Give your dog a distraction. A fun puzzle toy or chew bone will keep your dog’s attention away from the door.
- Keep your dog secured inside and away from the door. Don’t allow your dog to be the one greeting the trick or treaters.
- Don’t allow any pets(cat, dog, or otherwise) outside Halloween night. There are those that treat Halloween as a free for all. That includes stealing or abusing your animals.
- Do not force your pet to wear a costume it is uncomfortable wearing. It might be funny for us, but it can be stressful for your pet.
For you and your children:
- Don’t approach any house that has a dog barking at behind the front door, or tethered in the yard. The dog can easily slip free and possibly bite you or your children.
- Don’t approach any dog. Even if you are familiar with the dog he will not recognize you in costume. If you are not in costume, the dog will be under stress because of the increased activity.
- Don’t allow your child to “scare” an animal. Pets don’t react to being frightened like people do, you can’t explain to them that it was just a joke. They will often bite, scratch, or bolt when they are scared.
- Practice “Be a Tree”. If you see any loose dogs while you are out “Be a Tree” until they leave.
For more Halloween tips, information on dog bite prevention and the “Be a Tree” method visit Doggone Safe.