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How to keep dogs safe on Halloween

October 31 is a busy night in neighborhoods throughout the U.S. and Canada. What might be fun for people can be disturbing to dogs. Here are some basic tips to make Halloween a good night for Guest dogs.

Stranger danger: Create a safe space.

Children and adults in intimidating costumes will be knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell all evening. Dogs can react negatively to bulky outfits, masks and noise at the door.

  • Use baby gates or a separate room for an escape-free zone- this is critical to keeping Guests safe and calm.
  • Consider playing some soothing music or tuning into a TV program that’s not stressful.

This area can also serve as separate feeding space for food reactive dogs or as a space for nervous dogs to decompress.

Use this space to keep pups from bolting out open doors during drop off or pick up.

Stay on a leash. Get I.D.

NEVER take a Guest off leash in unsecure areas. All it takes is one loud “Trick or treat!” for a pup to bolt when the door or a gate is open.

  • Do not remove leashes until safely behind locked doors.
  • If a pup is nervous, keep him or her on a leash even when in the yard.
    • In a matter of seconds a frightened dog can dig under or jump out of a "secure" yard.
  • Make sure you Guest dog is wearing I.D. tags at all times. Keep extra I.D. tags on hand, just in case.
  • Double check that the dog’s collar is securely fastened and the pup can’t slip out of it.

Put away the human treats.

Accidental ingestions are dangerous, and this is a problem that can be easily avoided. Scan your home for pup-level dangers and pup-poisonous household items and move them out of reach.

  • Move candy, chocolate and other foods safely out of the dog’s way.
  • Keep the treat bowl on your person or safely put away in a cupboard.
  • Make sure candy wrappers are tossed into a secure waste bin as well.
  • Have children put their (hopefully full) trick-or-treat bags in a place where the dog can’t reach them.

Decorate with the dog in mind.

What’s fun and festive for people pose risks for dogs.

  • Carved pumpkins with candles might create an eerie mood for but could spell disaster for a dog.
  • Fake cobwebs, skeletons and ghosts might become a snack or toy. Keep them out of reach (including jumping).
  • Dogs in costumes can be cute, but never leave a dog unattended while in an outfit.
    • Instead take a picture with our VacayCam, and add stickers and a Halloween caption to the photos.

Take the dog out early.

Give your Guest dogs a long walk or play session well before trick-or-treating begins so that you can keep them inside when kids start coming by. A tired pup is a less nervous pup. Keep all windows and doors shut so that spooked dogs don’t have the opportunity to bolt.

In case of emergency, contact DogVacay.

If a Guest is sick, gets injured or becomes lost, call DogVacay immediately at (855) 364-8222. We’re here to provide you with the answers, tips and help that you need in any situation.

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