Toxic foods, scary costumes, fireworks and loud noises… Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Bonfire Night…. These are all exciting times, however, for our canine companions, it can be a source of anxiety and potential hazards.
As responsible pup-parents, we must make sure our furry friends have a safe and enjoyable experience.
We’ve put together some tips below to help you and your pup have a spooktacular time.
Having A Safe Halloween
We have to remember that our pups don’t really know what halloween is, so from the constant doorbell ringing to the food temptations, there are numerous risks and stressors around this time of year, not to mention bucket loads of excitement.
Let’s explore some of the ways you can make sure your four-legged friend enjoys the festivities without any mishaps.
1. Keep Sweets & Human Treats Out Of Reach!
Chocolate and other sweets can be toxic to dogs. Keep all Halloween treats and sweet bowls out of their reach and make sure your family and guests are aware of this too.
Include them in the celebration by having their favourite snacks ready or consider making some dog friendly treats to distract them from the commotion. Chewing on something tasty can keep them occupied and less anxious.
If your pup hasn't tried them yet, now is the perfect time to get a pack of our Natural Salmon Cookies. They're made with 3 healthy ingredients for the purest guilt-free treat.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten chocolate or a potentially toxic food, please see a vet immediately.
2. Get A Good Walk In
On Halloween Day, try to take your pup for a good long walk to tire them out. This way you will also avoid the trick-or-treaters, flashing lights and strange noises come the evening.
Giving them a chance to burn off a load of energy should also help pups feel more relaxed when the festivities begin.
3. Prepare A Quiet, Safe Space
If you’re expecting visitors or a fair bit of excitement on Halloween Eve, we suggest creating a quiet space especially for your pup so that they have somewhere to go if it all becomes too overwhelming.
This could be a room with their bed, toys and some soothing music to drown out external disturbances. Keep blinds down and provide low-level lighting to help them feel secure and relaxed.
4. Dog Friendly Decorations
A big part of Halloween is all the scary decorations and props which can be a source of fascination for dogs. Try to make sure your decorations are pet-friendly and won't harm your dog if they decide to investigate.
Caution: Whilst pumpkin fruit itself is safe for dogs to eat, some of the stalks and leaves can be harmful if ingested so keep these off the ground and away from your curious canine.
5. Avoid Glow Sticks and Candles
Glow sticks are common among trick-or-treaters so make sure to keep these out of your dog's reach as the chemicals inside can be harmful if ingested and easily mistaken for a chew toy.
We would also recommend steering clear of candles and open flames to reduce any risk around curious pups.
6. Careful Costume Consideration
Does your dog really want to be in fancy dress? We have to admit they do look very cute but lots of pups do not enjoy it.
If yours is a party pup and up for a bit of dressing up then ensure their costume is comfortable and doesn't restrict their movement, breathing or cause any skin irritation.
We do not recommend leaving your pup unsupervised while they're dressed up.
>> How cute is our Salmon Cookie Customer Mollie's pup below?
Preparing for Guy Fawkes
Halloween celebrations lead straight into Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Nights and with this usually being the busiest time of the year for fireworks, it's potentially a more stressful time for our furry friends than the spookyness of Halloween.
Many of the challenges to keep our pups calm and safe at this time of year are out of our control so the best way to prepare is to plan ahead where possible and be aware of any potential risks.
Bonus Tip: If you are celebrating at home this year or having a party, consider trying 'No Sound' fireworks. Enjoy all the beautiful colours and the excitement of a firework display without the loud banging and animal distress. Remember, it’s not just our pups that find these foreign noises unsettling, they can also disturb other pets, wildlife and farm animals too.
Here are 7 tips to help your canine companion stay calm and safe during fireworks displays:
1. Create a Safe Space
Leave your Halloween safe space set up or create a new one with all their favourite comforts. Some dogs like to be able to hide underneath things, such as your bed, when they feel vulnerable so consider creating a little cave for them to snuggle up in.
2. Stay with Your Dog
If you can, we recommend you stay with your dog during the fireworks, especially if they are nervous.
Your presence can provide comfort and reassurance. Make sure you also remain calm. Dogs can pick up on their owner's emotions so avoid comforting them too much, as this can reinforce anxious behaviour. Talk to them in a calm and soothing voice to normalise the experience.
3. Use White Noise
Create a distraction from the loud banging. Play white noise, calming music, radio or TV shows to drown out the sound of fireworks. This can help reduce anxiety.
4. Close Curtains and Blinds
If possible, close the curtains or blinds to block out the flashing lights from the fireworks. Dimming the lights in room can also create a more peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
5. Desensitisation Training
In the weeks leading up to fireworks season, you can play recorded fireworks sounds in the background at a low volume and gradually increase it over time. This can help desensitise your dog to the banging and noise. This works particularly well for young dogs who haven’t yet experienced fireworks.
We did this with Phoebe when she was a puppy, and now she loves fireworks! She’ll even sit at the window and watch, it's so cute!
6. Safety Precautions
In case you have to deal with an escapee, we recommend ensuring that your dog is wearing a secure collar with proper identification and contact details.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Toys and Treats for Distraction
Prepare in advance by providing your dog with plenty of entertainment, things like their favourite toys or yummy treats to distract them from the noise. Chewing or playing can help keep their mind off the fireworks and remain calm.
Halloween can be a joyous occasion for the whole family, including your furry friend. By being aware of potential hazards and taking the time to prepare in advance you can all keep calm and scare on!
When it comes to loud noises and fireworks, remember that every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It's essential to be patient and understanding of your dog's needs during fireworks displays.
Use our tips to keep pups safe and happy, and let us know if you discover any great new tricks for the season!
It's generally best to leave your dog at home. The excitement and crowds can be overwhelming for them, however, if you're confident that your pup would like to join in, you can try. All dogs are different.
All copyright, design rights and intellectual property rights existing in our designs and products and in the images, texts and design of our website/marketing material are and will remain the property of Pawdaw of London. We will treat any infringement of these rights seriously.