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Keeping Your Dog (And Your Kids) Safe On Halloween

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Halloween is just around the corner so here are some tips for kids, parents, and dog owners to help keep everyone including dogs safe this Halloween. Bizarre sights and sounds can cause stress in a normally calm dog. It is much safer and better to keep dogs out of the excitement by securing them away from the door and by providing a long lasting chew treat.

Teach your kids to “be a tree” and stand totally still if any dogs come near them on Halloween. Halloween is lots of fun for kids, but many dogs can become confused or scared by kids in strange looking costumes and by so many people coming to the door, yet they are never being invited in.

Dog owners:

  1. Secure your dog behind a closed door or in a crate in a room away from the front door or the party if children are meeting at your house.
  2. Give him a juicy bone from the butcher; a sterilized bone or Kong stuffed with hotdog. Play music or leave a TV or radio playing in the dog’s area to help mask the sounds of the activity at the front door.
  3. Close drapes so that the dog does not see people coming and going through the window.
  4. If you have a dog that barks at the sound of the doorbell, disconnect it or watch for trick-or-treaters so that they do not have to ring or knock.
  5. Supervise very carefully if you have a dog that may try to play with your children’s costumes while they are wearing them.
  6. Keep your dogs (and cats) indoors around Halloween time. Pets have been stolen, injured or poisoned as part of Halloween pranks or other rituals.

Kids and Parents:

  1. Never approach any dog, even if you know him. He may not recognize you in your costume.
  2. If an owner opens the door and there is a dog there, just stay still and wait for the dog owner to put the dog away. You can tell them you do not want to come near the dog. Do not move toward the person and dog. Wait for them to come to you to give you your candy. Wait for them to close the door before you turn and leave.
  3. If a dog escapes just stand still and “be a tree” (hands folded in front, watching your feet). He will just sniff you and then move on. Wait for the owner to come and get the dog before you turn away.
  4. If you meet a dog without its owner, be a tree and wait until the dog goes away.
  5. It is best to ignore other people’s dogs on Halloween if you meet them out walking. The dog may be worried about all the strange creatures that are out and about. Even if you know the dog, he may not recognize you in your costume.

Remember, Halloween can be a scary time for some dogs. And, most aggression and accidental dog bites stem from a dog’s fear reaction. Pet owners and parents alike should be cautious and considerate on this fun holiday.

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