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Should You Bring Your Dog Trick-or-Treating on Halloween

Dog as a ghost

 

Kids love Halloween, especially when it comes to trick-or-treating for candy and sweets. The costumes, decorations, and staying up late are all appealing elements of this spooky night. Your kids might want their furry friend to tag along, but should you bring your dog trick-or-treating?

Trick-or-treating with your dog can be lots of fun, but it’s essential to stay safe. Always keep your pup on a short leash and harness, and use a reflective leash to increase visibility. If your dog wears a costume, make sure it fits well and has no parts that pose a safety risk. Bring some treats for your pup, and don’t let them eat any candy.

If you plan to let your dog participate in your Halloween fun, ensure you know how to keep everyone safe. When you take steps to ensure their safety, you can have a great time with your canine companion.

Preparing Your Dog for Trick-Or-Treating

Many people think it’s best to leave pets at home for trick-or-treating. There are so many crazy things going on and lots of activity. It can stress out animals.

But the truth is, some dogs have a great time. So, you really need to be honest with yourself about your pup’s personality.

Before you even think about bringing your pup trick-or-treating, you need to answer a few questions.

  • Does your dog behave in public?
  • Is your pup good with kids?
  • Can your dog handle busy public places, crowds, and noise?
  • Does your dog remain calm and at ease in new situations?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then trick-or-treating might be a fun activity for your pup. However, if you said no to even one of them, it’s best to leave your pooch home with their favorite toy. 

Also, remember that Halloween night is full of activity and unusual things, so even an even-keeled dog might find it a bit stressful. Be prepared to observe your dog’s behavior closely. If they start to appear stressed, you can bring them home.

Plan an Easy Route

Before setting out for the night, plan your route. Decide which way you will go and how long you will stay out. Set the expectations ahead of time with your kids, so everyone knows where you’ll be walking.

As part of your plan, decide on a route that allows you to cut the night short if necessary. For example, you might start heading to the corner on one side of your street.

Then, cross the street and head down the other side, back toward your home. If everyone is still raring to go, continue to the end of the street, cross, and head back toward your house. 

This route works well if you’re somewhat in the middle of your block. It also gives you the opportunity to drop your pup off at home halfway through the route.

If you live closer to a corner, plan to walk down to the midpoint of your block, circle back, etc. Basically, you don’t want to find yourself several blocks away when your kids or pup are exhausted.

What Should Your Dog Wear?

It’s Halloween, so you likely want to find a cute, fun costume for your dog to wear. Doggy costumes are a great way to help your pup celebrate the holiday, but make sure the costume fits well. Whether your dog is a dinosaur or Wonder Woman, safety comes first.

Look for costumes that don’t have any pieces that could get caught or hung up on things. Make sure your dog can move comfortably and ensure there’s an easy way for your dog to wear a harness and leash. Also, ensure the costume allows your pup to go potty easily.

Another good idea is to consider putting a reflective vest on your dog. This is especially necessary if the costume or leash doesn’t have reflective properties. You can also get things like reflective tags or a light-up collar. Your dog should also have updated ID tags.

Things to Bring When Trick-Or-Treating with Your Dog

After you’ve planned out your route and decided your dog is ready for trick-or-treating, it’s time to gather your supplies. Make sure you have the following things with you when you head out for the night.

  • Bring poop bags so you can be a responsible pet parent and pick up after your dog.
  • Carry some dog treats with you to reward your pup for good behavior throughout the evening. Try some tasty DIY treats with a Halloween twist, especially since you don’t want your dog eating your kids’ candy. Halloween candy can be dangerous for your pooch, like chocolate, which is toxic to dogs thanks to a chemical called theobromine.
  • Keep the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline on your phone. It’s (888) 426-4435. You can access help quickly if your pup gets ahold of something they shouldn't have.
  • If you plan to be out for an extended period, bring along a collapsible water dish and bottle of water.
Frenchie in pineapple costume

A Few Tricks to Make Spending Halloween with Your Dog a Treat

If your dog is a social pup that loves meeting new people and dogs, trick-or-treating should be lots of fun. But, there are a few tips and tricks to make the night as frightfully fun as you want it to be.

  • Is your dog still getting used to walking on a leash? If so, start several weeks ahead of Halloween to train your pup not to pull on the leash.
  • Before you go trick-or-treating, take your dog for a walk before many people are out on the street. Then, have an energetic play session with them at home. The idea is to allow your pup to blow off some steam before the festivities.
  • If your dog doesn’t have a microchip, consider getting one before Halloween.
  • Always watch your dog for any signs of stress or behavior changes. If they start to seem agitated, talk to them calmly, and bring them home.
  • Scan the ground as you walk to ensure your pup doesn’t pick up any fallen candy.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings. Kids are running everywhere, it’s crowded, and you need to stay vigilant.
  • If your dog will wear a costume for Halloween, start getting them used to it a few days before. If they don’t like it, don’t make them wear it.

What If Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Trick-Or-Treat?

If your dog gets upset or stressed in crowds, don’t force them to come trick-or-treating. You’ll only end up dealing with a nervous pooch, and nobody will have a good time.

In this situation, think about your dog first and leave them at home. Make sure they have a cozy, comfortable place to rest. Don’t leave them out in the backyard. Unfortunately, some people aren’t always kind to animals on Halloween and will tease or taunt lonely pets.

Instead, set them up in a safe and secure place inside the house. Leave them with their favorite toy, so they have something to do while you are away. It’s also a good idea to play classical music to help mask the noise from outside.


Following these Halloween tips and using common sense are your best bets to having an enjoyable night with your dog. You can find other fun ways to spend time with your pup and keep them safe by checking out our blog. Happy Halloween!

 

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