Keeping your dog safe and happy during Halloween

Posted by Matt Sadler

Halloween can be an interesting time of year for dogs – with trick or treaters knocking at the door, strange costumes, and lots of off-limit food around. Taking a few simple precautions can ensure that this is a happy and healthy time for dogs.

977x550 Hearing dog Elmo at Halloween.jpg

1. Fancy dress is for humans

Unfortunately, dogs don’t think fancy dress is as funny as humans do! Leave the hats, masks, wigs etc to the people and let the dogs stay out of the way in a calm spot.

2. Keep chocolate and sweets out of reach

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. Sweets contain sugar which can be harmful, and some sweets contain xylitol which is very poisonous to dogs so keep these out of reach.

3. Be careful of lit pumpkins

Many people enjoy putting candles inside carved pumpkins but be aware that an excitable tail may knock a pumpkin over and some dogs may even try to eat the pumpkin! Keep them out of reach just in case.

4. Beware of trick or treaters

We can expect strangers to knock at the door more frequently than normal, and in costumes, so be aware that this can be unsettling for dogs.

Avoid letting your dog go to the door if you answer and make sure they feel secure in a quiet and safe environment.

5. Be aware of choke hazards

At Halloween there are often more objects around that, if swallowed or inhaled, could obstruct a dog’s airway.

Sweet wrappers, small parts of costumes, decorations and hard sweets all have the potential to cause a blockage and require surgical intervention.

Signs of an obstruction could include the dog going off their food, vomiting, lethargy, constipation or not going to the toilet at all.

6. Consider walking at a different time

If you usually walk the dog in the early evening, consider changing the time of your walk on Halloween. By making it earlier you might be able to avoid the rush of trick or treaters who may be in costume.

7. Fireworks

Remember, remember that Halloween falls just a few days before Bonfire Night and fireworks are available in the lead up to both. Be aware that loud bangs and sudden bright lights may spook your dog and take all necessary precautions.

8. Turn up the TV

Increasing background noise could help to reduce your dog’s awareness of unusual sounds outside including fireworks.

9. Be child aware

On Halloween your dog is likely to come into contact with more children than usual. Even if your dog is normally very good with children, be aware that all is far from normal to your dog at Halloween. Costumes, painted faces, spooky noises and screams can all contribute to a very stressful experience.

10. Have the number of your dog’s vet to hand

If your dog has eaten chocolate, lots of sweets or items which may obstruct their airway, contact emergency phone immediately for advice. The vet will need to know what was eaten, how much and when.

Sponsor a puppy and change a deaf person's life

These cute puppies are training to become life-changers. Sponsor them from £5 a month and follow their journey as they learn how to help a deaf person.

Share this post with your friends

Psst! Don’t miss all the latest Hearing Dogs news…

Psst! sign up so you don't miss out

Would you like to know more about us, our dogs and our amazing community? We have a free monthly e-newsletter that we send out to 30,000 of our fantastic friends. It would be great if you joined, too.

You’ll get:

  • Updates on how we train our dogs and how they change deaf people’s lives.
  • A monthly dose of our adorable puppies!
  • Behind-the-scenes stories and photos.
  • News of upcoming events and ways you can help us create more hearing dogs.



Add a comment

All comments are moderated

About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone, I'm Matt and I look after the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter.

I spend a lot of my day talking about our hearing dog superstars - it's a hard life!

More posts by this author