Introduce your dog to Halloween

While Halloween can be a fun time of year for humans, it is not always fun or safe for us, your pets.

By Miss Moneypenny, guest dog blogger

Halloween can be a fun time of year. With all sorts of fall festivals, costumes, trick-or-treating and candy, most households, both with and without children, will join in the festivities to some extent.

While this can be a fun time of year for humans, it is not always fun or safe for us, your pets. There are many problems that may occur with us this time of year, and now is the time to begin working on them… ahead of time!

Practice ahead of time so we won’t bolt out the door

One of the most common issues is that we want to bolt out the door whenever it’s opened. Chances are on Halloween, trick-or-treaters will be ringing your bell and you’ll be opening the door quite regularly. Practice now with your dog… teaching him that even if the door is open, he is not to run out. You may have to use his leash at first and it’s a good idea to practice at times of day when there are many distractions outside.

Socialization is something to think about before the ghosts and goblins start to arrive

Also an important thing to address is very thorough socialization. Remember, while you may know that the adorable little Darth Vader or Princess Witch is just a cute kid in a costume, us dogs may not realize. Work on socializing your dog with hats, masks, strange noises and anything else you can think of so he won’t be overly suspicious comes Halloween time. You don’t want your dog to become overprotective or extremely fearful which could result in a dangerous situation.

Supervision is a good idea on Halloween

Many people choose to sit out on their porches and wait for trick-or-treaters and a properly socialized dog can join in the fun by staying with you on a leash. Also be sure to keep us safe by not leaving us outside in your yard unsupervised for long periods of time. As much as I hate to talk about this, cats, especially black ones, should be kept indoors to protect them from the rare (but occasionally real) cruelty that could occur.

Watch the chocolate!

Last but not least, remember that chocolate is toxic to us. Do not leave your bowl of goodies anywhere we might reach it and be sure that children know where to keep their booty as well.

By doing some training and taking precautions ahead of time, we can all  be safe and enjoy Halloween!

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