Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Clara Scott
Concept by Courtney Emken

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Halloween can be a pretty stressful night for dogs—doorbell ringing, lots of commotion, and SOOO many strangers—so we want to give you a few Halloween safety tips for your dogs. Enjoy and BE SAFE out there!


– Hi, I’m Jen and this is Clara and we’re here today to talk about some Halloween safety tips for dogs. So the first thing I would recommend is just really being careful about leaving things out that your dog might get into. So, there’s lots of stuff going on at Halloween, candy, costumes, decorations, and you wanna make sure that none of that stuff is sitting out that your dog can chew or ingest.

– And if you’re not able to supervise your dog, using a crate, if they’re comfortable in a crate, or having them in a separate room with a baby gate is a great way to manage your dog when you’re not able to watch them around these items, like costumes and candy and things that are out and around Halloween.

– Another important safety tip is being really careful at the door to make sure that your dog isn’t running out past you. So Clara, what are some ways that we might be able to prevent a dog from doing that?

– Teaching some nice impulse control behaviors. So teaching a stay or teaching a wait behavior so that our dog doesn’t run by us. Also making sure our dogs have proper ID tags, that way we can locate them if they do get out. And as well, if you’re not able to teach a stay or wait behavior, just use management, keep them in a crate or in another room with a baby gate so they’re not able to access the doorway.

– So Halloween can be a pretty stressful night for dogs with all the doorbell ringing and knocking on the front door and people coming into the house. So if you have a fearful or reactive dog, there are some things you can do to minimize that stress. So if your dog is very reactive, I would just go ahead and put a sign on your door that says please do not ring the bell. You can have a little basket of candy out on the front porch or something if that’s important to you. But having a reactive dog have to kind of suffer through all that doorbell ringing is pretty stressful for them. Another thing that you can do to reduce some of the stress for a fearful and reactive dog is to use some environmental management strategies. So maybe some white noise, visual barriers, you could put something that covers up the windows by the door, so just reducing any sort of that outside stimuli coming into the house.

– Another thing that could be stressful for your dog are costumes. You wearing a costume and then your dog wearing a costume. So what are a couple of ways that we can make dogs more comfortable with you and with them being in costume?

– Sure, so to start, for the person wearing the costume, that might be scaring the dog, I would say you can use a little bit of desensitization and counter-conditioning when you’re putting on the costume initially, so showing the dog that it’s you wearing the costume, maybe pairing you putting the costume on with some treats or something good so the dog kind of forms the positive emotional association with seeing you in the costume. For a dog wearing a costume, I would make a couple recommendations. I would say first of all, don’t leave it on too long. Definitely put it on, take some cute pictures, but then take it off and let them get comfortable again. I would make sure that it fits them correctly and it’s not causing any pain or irritation. And I would never leave a dog unattended that was wearing a Halloween costume cause they may chew it or ingest it and that could lead to an obstruction.

– And one last thing to remember is that although you may like trick-or-treating, your dog may not. Some dogs may be fine with it, but other dogs may get a little stressed out, walking so much or being around all the people in costumes. So it’s just better safe to keep your dog at home during trick-or-treating.

– So we hope you guys have a lot of fun this Halloween, but remember to keep your dog safe and comfortable.