Does your dog hate being left out of any kind of fun? Trick-or-treating can be enjoyed by the whole family, dogs included. But if you’re planning on taking your dog trick-or-treating with your kids this year, it’s important to know how to keep them safe and comfortable. 

At Anasazi Animal Clinic, we want to help you ensure that your furry family member has a great Halloween night. Follow our tips on how to trick-or-treat with your dog and keep safety in mind this Halloween. 

Six Tips for Safely Trick-or-Treating with Your Dog

1: Avoid Uncomfortable Costumes

Although pets look adorable in costumes, not all dogs enjoy wearing clothing. It’s important that your dog feels comfortable while trick-or-treating to ensure that the whole family has a good time. You can try getting your dog used to wearing a costume by putting one on them for a few minutes each day leading up to Halloween. 

But, if your dog shows signs of distress in their costume when it comes time to trick-or-treat, it’s best to ditch the outfit. Signals to watch for include heavy panting, pacing, refusing to move, and biting or clawing at the clothing.

Keep in mind that even if your pet tolerates the costume, they may grow sick of it as the night goes on. If your dog shows signs of discomfort at any point during your trick-or-treat rounds, take a moment to remove their costume. 

2: Make Sure They Are Visible in the Dark

People don’t always watch where they’re going on Halloween. To prevent people from tripping over your dog and ensure you can always find them in the dark, take steps to make sure they are easily visible. 

You can use a reflective dog leash, a reflective dog vest, and/or a safety light on their collar to help them stand out. However, you should never place glow sticks on your dog as they may chew on them and swallow the toxic liquid inside. 

It’s also a good idea to bring a flashlight to keep an eye on the ground for candy and wrappers as you walk, which your dog may try to eat if you’re not paying attention. The residual chocolate and sugar on candy wrappers can make your dog sick, and the wrapper itself may cause intestinal blockages.  

3: Keep Candy Out of Reach

Eating candy typically makes dogs sick, and candies containing nuts or xylitol, chocolate, or lots of sugar are especially dangerous—they can even be fatal. Hard candies are dangerous as well, because they pose a choking hazard for dogs. 

Never let anyone give your dog candy. Pick up any candy and wrappers that you see on the ground and make sure that everyone in your group knows to pick up their candy wrappers after they eat to keep your dog safe. 

4: Bring the Essentials

It’s a good idea to bring along a few small necessities for your dog when you go trick-or-treating. You’ll need poop bags for cleaning up after your dog, treats to reward good behavior, water to prevent them from getting dehydrated, and a pet first aid kit for emergencies. Packing everything in a bag or backpack will keep your hands free, and give you a place to store your dog’s costume if you need to remove it at any point. 

5: Pay Attention to Your Dog

Although there’s a lot of excitement on Halloween night, it’s important to remember to pay close attention to your dog. You’ll need to frequently check to make sure they aren’t eating anything they’re not supposed to, and that they are having a good time. 

If your dog starts getting tired, and is walking slower or refusing to move, it’s time to bring them home. However, you don’t want to be on the other side of the neighborhood with a long walk back when you realize your dog is too tired. Plan a reasonable checkpoint ahead of time where you can turn around and start heading back home if necessary. 

6: Don’t Force Them to Go

Some dogs simply aren’t interested in trick-or-treating. Don’t force your dog to go out if they aren’t up for it. Walking is great exercise for dogs, but the crowds of strangers, noise, and costumes can be too much for some pets. 

If your dog refuses to leave the house or looks uncomfortable as soon as you go out, it’s best to leave them at home. You can take them out for a walk the next morning to ensure they get their exercise, but make sure you still look out for dropped candy and wrappers. 

Emergency Vet Clinic in Gilbert, Arizona

If your pet eats candy or is injured on Halloween, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert is open Monday through Saturday to handle any pet emergencies, including chocolate ingestion. Call 480-497-0505 today to discuss your emergency, or you can come in right away for urgent care. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/19/2022). Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash