Simba has not gotten along with small children since she was a puppy. As a pup, I trained her to feel more comfortable around children. However, I don’t take any chances when it comes to children’s safety and choose to keep her away from them. I stay very alert when walking her in public. She normally ignores children around us except if they charge towards her. She also does not like men in hats or gloves. So bottom line, know your dog’s triggers.
It is important to know if it’s going to be safe for others to take your dog out at anytime but especially on Halloween. For Halloween doggie parades, be aware that there will be many other dogs of all sizes, children everywhere, and it may get crowded. People in costumes may cause the dog much stress. There are dogs that are very relaxed and aloof to their surroundings, however most are not. If a dog gets surprised, scared, or just uncomfortable by not recognizing someone, it may cause it to react unfavorably. Taking your pup out on Halloween night after dark, with people in costumes, unrecognizable noises coming from homes and people jumping out trying to scare each other can be very stressful. Leave your pup at home.
I don’t hand out candy on Halloween. Knocking on the door really stresses Simba out. She reacts to knocking like some dogs react to thunder and fireworks. She will start barking and run to the door until I tell her it’s ok. She then knows to go get a toy (to silence the barking) and she will circle nervously with the toy in her mouth whining. I can tell that she is stressed for several minutes, therefore do not put her through this over and over on Halloween night. I turn off the lights outside and sit to watch a quiet movie with my pups, a relaxing night for all.
If you’re going to put a costume on your pup, please make sure it fits properly and comfortably. They really don’t enjoy being dressed up. This is purely for human enjoyment. I will admit that I have put on a costume on Simba for a doggie parade but it was for a very short time. I made sure it fit comfortably and allowed her to pee or poo, if needed, without needing to wait for me to remove costume. The costume was also easy to put on and take off with velcro straps. Make sure the costume does not obstruct their vision. Don’t dress a dog if you see it makes it uncomfortable or nervous.
Don’t leave your dog in your yard during trick or treating. Unfortunately, thoughtless pranksters do exist.
Candy is bad for dogs especially chocolate and sugar-free (which contains xylitol).
Careful when opening the door to trick-or-treaters that your dog doesn’t run out.
Make sure your children don’t leave candy wrappers laying around. They can be harmful if ingested.