How to Keep Your Pet Safe & Happy This Halloween

Lil Naz X and Billy Ray Cyrus

It’s that time of year again when all the cool, kooky and crazy costumes come out — Halloween! According to new research from Rover.com, the UK’s leading dog sitting and walking platform, UK pooch parents are going mutts for Halloween this year, with almost a fifth planning on dressing up their pooch for the spooky occasion.

Pet parents have gone so mad for doggie dress-ups over the past few years, it’s fair to say their four-legged friend’s getup requires even more thought, planning and DIY skills than their own! Rover.com found that millennials are most passionate about crafting a costume, with a third spending more time and money on their animal’s outfit than their own.

When it comes to costume choices, pet parents have been inspired by politics on both sides of the Atlantic, with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson topping the list of dog outfits this year.

Lady Gaga
Elton John as Rocketman

While doggie dress-ups and trick-or-treating can be fun for you, it’s important to consider whether your pupster is keen on these ideas.

Megan Teepe, VP of International Business at Rover.com, says: “Not all dogs are up for joining in the fun, and it’s important to be conscious of which activities your four-legged friend doesn’t enjoy doing. For the one in 10 pet owners who plan to leave their pups at home on Halloween, Rover.com makes it simple to find a sitter to keep them company on what could be an unsettling night. This companionship can distract them from everything that is going on and help make them feel more relaxed.”

Scoops Ahoy from Stranger Things

With this in mind, Rover.com’s dog behaviourist expert Louise Glazebrook shares top tips for keeping pets safe this Halloween, whether you’re out and about or at home for the night:

1. Avoid taking your dog trick-or-treating. Amongst the masks, loud noises and darkness, it can be quite a distressing environment for dogs, so it’s best to leave them in the comfort of their own home.

2. If you do leave your dogs at home, then do not display any Halloween decorations that will encourage trick-or-treaters. Constant knocking and doorbell ringing is a real disruption to a dog’s normal routine, and this may cause stress.

3. Whilst Halloween costumes on dogs may seem like a good idea at the time, be careful of the fabric. Often, they can be made from polyester, which can be uncomfortable for dogs and cause them to get too hot. Also be wary about costumes that have items hanging off them, as these can sometimes be distressing and restrict pups from their natural behaviour. 

4. Halloween sweets are more trick than treat for a dog – make sure you keep them out of reach. Chocolate is particularly toxic for dogs, and even a small piece can be a cause for concern. If you suspect they’ve got their paws on your pile of candy, contact your vet immediately. 

5. Overall, keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour – they will tell you if they’re not happy with their environment over Halloween. Look out for cues in their body language or tell-tale signs that they’re stressed, such as whining, pacing or licking more than usual.

Do you plan to celebrate Halloween with your pooch this year or will you be staying well away from the action? Tell us in the comments below.

Sara is the Founder & Editor of StyleTails. A writer, design-lover and long-time animal-hugger, Sara launched StyleTails in 2012 to inspire people live a more beautiful life with their four-legged friends. Along with her canine sidekick George, a rescue Yorkie with a big attitude, Sara regularly commentates on luxury pet product and lifestyle trends and has been featured in Elle Decoration, BBC Radio, and is also an expert contributor to WGSN, the leading design trend forecaster.

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