Spooky season safety with your pup!

Spooky season is upon us, with Halloween landing on Monday. EEEEEEK! 

I LOVE Halloween!

Once the month of October arrives, the Halloween wardrobe is assembled – nothing overly exotic, just long sleeved tees that range in oranges, some with cute Halloween designs. There is one doozie of a zip up sweater that is an UGLY Halloween ensemble (yes ugly sweaters come in the Halloween variety) that is rather over the top. Paired with an orange hoodie and orange Chucks and we’re ready for spooky season!

This is Blue’s first Halloween! He’s got a multitude of collars perfect for spooky season and a hand me down monster costume with backwards velcro. Being soft, squishy and stuffed, Blue thought it was best to eat and play with the costume vs wear it. What a nut! Luckily with some persistent “leave it” I was able to wrangle the costume, velcro and Blue into collaboration. 

What better background than the Halloween decorated shelves in the living room? Placed Blue on the bins with the extra Halloween decorations and man is this pup superstar! He posed easily, not at all worried that he was two bins high off the ground!

Headed outside and Blue demonstrated the best way to wear a costume then got a bout of the zooms around the yard. 

With it being Blue’s first Halloween it had me thinking about how we would do trick or treating and Halloween activities. 

First – safety tips!

  • If you are handing out candy, secure your dog or cat in a separate room away from the front door. Halloween has the second highest rate of lost pets (4th of the July is the highest). 
  • Make sure your dog’s microchip is up to date and they’re wearing an ID tag just in case they slip out of the house
  • Going trick or treating with your pup? Remember that costumed running, loud kids can be quite scary as they don’t look “normal”. Plus the lack of light can make it harder for a dog to see dark costumes. 
    – If your dog is shy, go slowly. The ideal might be going out earlier in the day with loads of treats and getting the weird costumed people to be rather regular. 
    – If your dog is happy to meet people, make sure to work on some training so they aren’t tempted to jump up to hug every kid walking by because Halloween is awesome, people are awesome, everything is awesome!
    – Otherwise leave your pup safe and cozy at home!
  • Beware of CANDY! Chocolate & raisins are toxic to dogs but did you know sugar free things with Xylitol like chewing gum  MEGA toxic? Gum might not be handed out as a treat, but if someone spits it out in exchange for a piece of candy and it lands in the grass at nose level, your pup might be tempted to eat it. 
    – If you have kids who will be bringing home candy, make sure its stored somewhere out of the reach of dogs to avoid them raiding the stash & getting tummy aches or worse. 
  • Additionally wrappers for candy might be inappropriately discarded and can be picked up by a pup who thinks its a tasty treat. If noshed, they can land in tummies and intestines and possibly not pass.
  • Your pup can help with pumpkin carving, just don’t let them eat too much of the pumpkin. It is good for firming up poops but too much can cause the runs!  Keep your pup away from sharp tools & carve away!

With Blue, I’ve decided to negate handing out candy to trick or treaters.

Blue has stranger danger and his watchdog sense kicks in when he sees people. Big baroos of barks follow. He has a crate in the living room, though being able to see the door and people coming may be a big stressor (and a night full of barking!). There’s a pen in the bedroom but being open topped the little Mister can jump out of it! 

The costumed kids and people most likely will be a bit much for him, especially in the dark. 

Perhaps we will observe a trunk or treat… though I feel Blue will bark at everyone regardless if its light or dark out.  So we may stay home and binge Halloween movies instead!

If you want to do a trunk or treat here are some local ones you can check out in the St. Cloud area (I’m not sure if any are dog friendly, call ahead to check!). 

  • Boo Blast at Lunds & Byerlys – Thursday October 27th at 4-7 pm
  • Minnesota Truck Headquarters – Friday October 28th at 4-7 pm
  • Miller Auto Plaza – drive through style – Friday October 28th at 4:30-6:30 pm 
  • Tri County Humane Society – dog friendly! – Friday October 28th at 5-6:30 pm
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran School – Friday October 28th at 5:30-7 pm
  • PumpkinMania at Hope Covenant Church – Friday October 28th at 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church – Saturday 29th at 5 pm
  • Redeemer Lutheran Church – Monday 31st at 5-6:30 pm
  • Life Assembly of God – Monday 31st at 6-8 pm 

No kids aside from those with fur and not going trick or treating? Spend some time in the kitchen and whip up some classic Halloween treats. Make some dog friendly cookies in classic Halloween shapes, craft some popcorn balls (share the popcorn with your pup) and break out a tub of water + apples and let your dog do the bobbing for them! 

Cider & doughnuts are Halloween classics as well – in fact in years past October was dubbed National Doughnut Month! (This shows up in the 30s with no modern notation.) Plus there are TWO national doughnut days – June 2nd & November 5th!

Classically cider & doughnuts aren’t dog friendly but if you do some Google digging you’ll find a few doughnut recipes that will make your dog drool – we found these: Easy Dog Donuts, Apple Peanut Butter “Dognuts”, or Banana Doughnuts.

Googling dog friendly cider will get you to places you can pop in for a cider with your dog! (Plus you might even find some Halloween events where your dog can flaunt their costume!)

How are you going to celebrate Halloween? Is your dog going to dress up?

We’re in a blog ring of dog and pet photographers around the world. Next up Toronto dog photographer Terri Jankelow of Terri J Photography shares how she handles Halloween photos without costumes.

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