Hallowe’en is a fun time that brings out ghosts, witches and many other characters to haunt the night on trick-or-treat rounds. Although it’s not for everybody, some dog owners like to include their pooches in the fun, either as costumed side-kicks or just for company as they roam door-to-door. While having your canine companion along can certainly add to the festivities, there are things you should consider before going trick or treating with your dog.
Top Tips on Trick-or-Treating With Your Dog
What to Bring for Your Dog
Whether your pooch is getting a costume of his own or is just going along for the ride, there are basic necessities you need to take when heading out for trick-or-treating. It’s a good idea to take him out for exercise before leaving your house, but in the event he has to defecate while you are out for the evening with him, you will need clean up bags.
Be sure to take some water along – a sport bottle that he can drink from will eliminate the need to carry any sort of bowl. It’s also a good idea to take some of his favourite treats, which you can dole out from time to time.
Before heading out for the evening, it’s a good idea to attach some sort of reflective device to your dog’s costume, collar or harness. Ensure that the ID tags on his collar all have current information on them.
Hallowe’en in some areas of North America means loads of firecrackers and fireworks. Make sure that the collar or harness that your dog will be wearing is a snug fit that will prevent him from slipping out of it. A loose buckle collar is easily backed out of if your dog is frightened by the sudden bang of a firecracker, and it’s not likely he is going to stick around if he is scared. Consider purchasing a limited slip or martingale collar that will tighten only if he pulls.
Make sure that your dog is always on a leash while he is out on Hallowe’en. While he may be perfectly reliable off-leash at other times he will be exposed while trick-or-treating to noises and things he has never seen before, which means there are no guarantees that he will stay with you.
No Human Treats for Pooches
Although children may want to share their treats with your dog, do not allow it. Candy and chocolate can be toxic for dogs. If a child wants to give your dog a treat, give the youngster one of the dog-friendly treats that you have brought along and encourage the child to treat your dog with that.
Also be aware that candy gets dropped on the ground when there are a lot of little ghosts and goblins about, so do not let your dog drop his head to sniff the ground at any time.
Keep Your Dog Under Control
It’s just a matter of basic manners to keep your dog well-controlled. Although he may love the entire trick-or-treating experience and be keen to meet and greet every youngster that comes his way, be aware that some of those young ones may have allergies or a fear of dogs. Keep the dog close by your side and don’t let him roam out at the end of a long leash.
Plan Your Route
Try to think ahead a little bit and plan your route. Consider the age of your dog as well as your children when working on this, and always have an escape plan for the dog in case he becomes tired or scared.
It’s a good idea to have two adults accompany the trick-or-treaters so that if the dog needs to be taken home for any reason one adult can accommodate that while the other, with kids in tow, can carry on with the quest for candy.
Consider Your Dog’s Temperament
While many dogs will enjoy the excitement of trick-or-treating with their owners, those with timid temperaments may not. If your dog is afraid of loud noises like firecrackers, or worries about large crowds or strangers in weird costumes it may be best to leave him home for the evening. He will be happier, and you will have a better time not having to worry about him.
With a little planning and consideration the entire family, including your dog, can have a fun evening out together. Happy trick-or-treating!
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