Bark and Boo!

HALLOWEEN: Ghosts and Goblins, Dracula, Tinkerbell, and the occasional Star Wars character…..toddlers to teenagers all out on the streets running, screaming, darting, spooking, tricking, and treating.  It’s a great time to be a kid!  It’s a terrible time to be a dog.

Treats: Candy, popcorn and raisins; pencils, erasers, and small toys.  All present choking hazards and poisoning risks to dogs. The wrappers pose problems too.  Keep these items out of your dogs reach.

Decorations: While decorating is a fun way to celebrate the holiday, your dog will find it very curious.  Dogs like pumpkin – be sure to watch your dog around your jack-o-lantern.  While ingesting the pumpkin won’t hurt your dog, eating the entire thing won’t make you very happy when it comes to potty time!

Trick or Treaters: Lots of my clients complain about their dog going nuts when the doorbell rings and get even more excitable when guests come inside.  Other dogs will become agitated at all of the activity and disruption even becoming aggressive and confused by the costumes.  It would be best to crate your dog or even have him boarded during the evening’s festivities.

Is your dog into dressing up?  Have a ball then on Halloween.  If you don’t dress up your dog regularly and decide to this year, practice with your dog well in advance to the party or opt out dressing him up.  Some dogs simply do not “get” the whole idea of being clothed.

Under no circumstance do I ever leave my dog outside on Halloween.  Bring your dog inside for the evening even if it’s just the garage.  This will keep your dog safe from potential harm and Halloween pranks.  It will also give your dog peace of mind knowing that every person that goes by the fence isn’t there to break into the yard!

On Halloween, take a moment and think about how your dog will react to all of the happenings and goings on.


Michele Forto is the Denver Dog Training Examiner, the lead trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of The Dog Doctor Radio Show.

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