How to Make Halloween with Your Dog a Treat (Not a Trick)

Posted on
October 12, 2020
a woman with blue hair holds a small dog wearing a costume with rounded ears
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It’s the season of spooky decorations, creative costumes, and pumpkin flavored everything. You definitely want to get your furry friend in on all your Halloween festivities, but how do you do it safely? Never fear, your guide to a fantastic dog Halloween is here! This post will fill you in on:

  • Dog Halloween costumes 
  • Making your house fun, spooky, and dog friendly
  • Keeping your dog safe and happy on Halloween 
A dog wears a hat giving him bear ears for Halloween.
Make sure your dog’s Halloween costume is safe and comfortable. 

What Not to Wear: Dog Halloween Edition

Dog Halloween Costume Dos and Don’ts

Dog costumes are lots of fun and often hilarious, but it’s important to make sure your dog’s Halloween costume is safe

  • Do consider whether or not your dog enjoys being dressed up. Some dogs will strut their stuff in a stylish outfit, but others are very uncomfortable and anxious in clothing. If your dog hates dressing up, maybe don’t force them into a costume. You can also pick and choose pieces of a costume to figure out what they’ll tolerate.
  • Don’t put a senior dog or puppy into a costume without serious consideration. You don’t want to cause your dog unnecessary pain, stress, or limitation in movement, all of which are more likely in a very young or very old dog. 
  • Do check if they can move well in the costume. Costumes that restrict movement aren’t safe for dogs. 
  • Don’t leave your dog alone while wearing any costume. Even if the costume is perfectly safe, something could easily get stuck or tangled which could be very dangerous for your dog. 
  • Do pay attention to whether they can see, hear, and breathe properly. Covering up your dog’s ears and eyes isn’t fair and could be dangerous. The same goes for a tight costume that makes it hard for your dog to breathe. 
  • Do watch for signs of stress. If your dog is acting differently than you’re used to or exhibiting signs of stress such as panting, pacing, or whining, the costume might be upsetting them. 
Candy corn sits ready for Halloween.
Halloween candy is one of the best parts of the holiday, but not for your dog. Luckily you can make Halloween treats just for dogs. 

Having a Dog Friendly House for Halloween

Dogs and Halloween Candy 

As a general rule your dog shouldn’t share your trick or treat haul. For one thing, the chocolate we’re all excited to see in a Halloween candy bowl is toxic to dogs. 

In addition to chocolate, your candy may include xylitol in the ingredients, and xylitol is toxic to dogs. Xylitol causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also lead to liver failure. 

If your dog gets into your Halloween candy, look out for vomiting, lethargy, and issues with coordination. Seizures can also be a symptom of xylitol ingestion. 

Rather than sorting through chocolate and reading all the tiny candy labels checking for xylitol, it’s best not to let your dog have any of your Halloween candy. Keep candy bowls and trick or treat bags out of your dog’s reach in order to keep them safe and healthy. 

Halloween Treats for Dogs

Good news for your dog, you can make some Halloween treats especially for them! Check out these fun homemade Halloween dog treats to include your dog in your Halloween party or have them ready for canine trick or treaters. 

1. Pumpkin dog treats

2. Skeleton bones

3. Banana coconut bats

4. Black cat cookies

5. Mummy bones

Halloween Decorations to Avoid for Your Dog

Before you go all out making your haunted house this year, take a minute to review the Halloween decorations that are dangerous for dogs

  • Things your dog might eat. Fake spider webs, rubber rats, and plastic jack-o-lanterns are classic Halloween decorations that also pose a risk to your dog. Your dog may get curious and decide to chew up and eat these strange new additions to the house. Digesting these objects can lead to obstructions in the digestive tract that need to be removed with expensive surgery. 
  • Things that are plugged in. You most likely have power cords plugged in all over your house throughout the year, but odds are those are tucked away and off your dog’s radar. New cords stretching across the living room to power a cackling witch could be seen as a new chew toy for your dog. Be wary of cords especially when you’re leaving your dog alone. Chewing a cord could electrocute your dog or start a fire in your house. 
  • Things that are on fire. Candles in the window are certainly spooky, but a house fire is not the kind of scary you’re looking for on Halloween. Open flames can easily be knocked over by your dog. Watch your dog closely if there are open flames anywhere--or consider a switch to battery powered candles. 
A pumpkin decorated with a silly face sits on top of other pumpkins for Halloween.
Before you leave your dog alone with your Halloween decorations, think about whether anything you have looks like something your dog might try to eat. 

Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

Dog First Aid Kit for Halloween

Trick or treating, costume parades, and Halloween parties are all full of potentially scary moments that might make your dog panic. Do your best to keep your dog calm and happy and don’t make them go anywhere they feel scared. 

In case your dog does get spooked and end up hurt as a result, you should have a dog first aid kit ready. Here’s what you should include in your Halloween dog first aid kit:

  • Gauze for dressing cuts and scrapes (both on you and on your dog).
  • Non-stick bandages to bandage a wound on your dog without sticking to their fur.
  • Cotton balls for cleaning wounds.
  • Hydrogen peroxide as an antiseptic for wounds. 
  • First aid spray for treating wounds. 
  • Thermometer for checking if your dog has a fever.
  • Milk of Magnesia or charcoal to counteract poisons. Check with your veterinarian to see if this is safe for your dog and figure out the dosage ahead of time. 
A dog in a clown costumes sits on a Halloween parade float.
Having your dog join in on your Halloween festivities is great! Just make sure you’re keeping your dog happy and safe.  

By paying attention to your decorations and making sure your dog is comfortable in a costume you can create an amazing dog Halloween. Halloween is coming soon--get to work on a contest winning costume and spooky treats for your dog!

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Posted on
October 12, 2020

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