The popularity of taking the family dog “trick or treating” has grown over the last several years. In just about any neighborhood in Denver you will see dogs dressed up in their costumes accompanying the children up and down each street. If you plan on taking your dog there are a few things you should consider first for safety of your pet and for others.
You will definitely want to keep your dog on a leash the entire time. It will also be extremely important that you will be able to see him in the dark. If the costume doesn’t have reflectors of any kind already on it, you will want to add some. You can also use a light of some kind instead of a reflector. There are many different kinds available for purchase that would work really well. Check the local Halloween stores and pets stores like Chewy’s Bonetique or Pet World. Just like with children you want everyone to see your pet to prevent unnecessary accidents. Check the safety warnings on their costumes as well and never leave them unsupervised with them on. The Denver Post offers some tips for how to make sure your dog’s costume fits properly.
How obedient is your dog
One thing many people don’t consider when taking their dog out on Halloween is how their pet will behave. If your dog is around many different people and other dogs on a regular basis with no issues, you probably have nothing to worry about. The dogs that haven’t gone many places though may be scared by all that goes on. The lights, costumes and children’s excitement can spook any dog. These things can overwhelm him and cause him to lash out in a way you have never seen him behave. When a dog gets scared they naturally try to defend themselves. This doesn’t mean that you have an aggressive animal they’re just not in a surrounding where they feel safe. It may not even be about protecting themselves but you or your children whom they love dearly. So when someone or something jumps out at them in the dark they may react in a way that could put someone in danger.
Preparing Your Dog
If you really want your dog to go along with you and your kids, make sure you have introduced him to the things that could happen. Take him for some walks after dark a couple times before Halloween. Play with spooky sounds and lighting to see how he reacts to them. Even a few trips to a crowded park may give you an idea of how he will behave. If your dog has never experienced these things or leaves the house rarely it may be a good idea to leave him at home. He can wear his costume and help whoever hands out candy and all the kids will still love to see him. This keeps him in surroundings that you know he feels safe. Those dogs that do well with the things you did to test their behavior will more than likely do fine, especially if they are normally very social outside of the home.
Also be aware of other families out there with their dogs. Just because you took the time to make sure your pet was safe to bring does not mean others were that responsible.
Remember to keep the candy away from your pet also.