It’s getting close!
The night when the veil between the realms are at their thinnest.
The night we dress up to keep the spirits away from us.
Parties, doorbells ringing, children shouting “Trick or Treat!”
Of course, we give them treats to avoid their tricks.
What a fun night!
I love to see what costume ideas are floating around each year.
But our dogs, not so much.
This can be an especially nerve-wracking and possibly dangerous night.
In order to help you and your dog(s) have a spooktacular night, I have come up with some tricks and some treats to make Halloween sweet.
*Doggy costumes – Know your pup! Dakota hates, I mean HATES to wear anything. He even hates to wear his collar! He deals with it though because he knows a walk is coming. For him, costumes are a no-no. Wally will put up with being dressed up, but would rather not. A Halloween bandana might be just right for him. Lilli-bit could care less either way. She would be the one I would dress up.
To find a good costume, make sure the outfit does not restrict your dog’s ability to move freely, see easily, breathe and bark without problems. Watch for anything that might tangle your pup up or be easily chewed off (choking hazard). Make sure the outfit fits well and won’t twist up or get caught on anything. Never leave them unsupervised.
A really great idea is to gradually get them used to being in costume. Start them out by introducing it weeks before Halloween, gradually building up to being in it for longer lengths of time. You can use treats at first to make wearing the outfit seem fun. An added benefit is that you will see if your pup has any skin reactions to the costume before he is in it for a full night.
*Decorations – I keep mine up high or outside (also remember to keep them safe for outdoor pets) where my pets (cats included) aren’t likely to come in contact with them.
Otherwise watch your pups don’t chew cords, potential electric shock, or eat batteries, potential chemical burns and/or intestinal blockages.
If you light candles in your home and/or in your carved pumpkins make sure your pets can’t knock them over or get singed/burned by the flame. Although pumpkin is safe for most dogs to eat, try not to let them eat carved pumpkins. Many of them are already moldy. Same goes for decorative corn.
*ID – Make sure your pup is wearing his collar and ID tags and/or is microchipped. With all the door opening, he could accidentally slip out the door and could run off in either excitement or fear. Having him easy to ID could mean a safe return.
*Some prep can go a long way – Weeks before Halloween, practice ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. You can do this by ringing or knocking every time you come home. Reward your dog when he doesn’t react (this is better done if someone is inside to do the rewarding). You can also ask others to come over to ring and knock. Whatever works best for you.
*You know your dog will react poorly – try to walk your dog earlier in the day before the evening fun begins. Be kind and keep him in a separate area or crate. Consider calming scents, music, hormone collars/sprays, or even a compression shirt/calming wrap to help keep your pup calm.
If someone can calmly sit in the area with your pup (don’t pet or talk) that could make a huge difference as well.
If you know your dog will react poorly and that none of these tricks will work, consider contacting your vet for a prescription product to help keep your pup calm.
*Leaving them in the yard – Just don’t. Find a safe area for them. There are some really stupid people out there who think it is funny to tease, injure or even kill pets on Halloween night.
Got a black cat? Keep it safely inside Halloween night.
*Using glow sticks? – Great idea! Just be sure your pup doesn’t chew on one. Although they are supposed to be non-toxic, they taste terrible. Your pup may drool, paw at his mouth, or even vomit.
If your pup does chew one, the suggested advice is to provide fresh water or even a little bit of food to help get that taste out of your pup’s mouth.
*Taking your pup out with you? – For most pups, I would say don’t, but there are some who really enjoy going out. Know your dog. If you do go out, consider reflective wear, and/or tape to your pup’s costume and leash.
*Candies – keep them away from your pets.
Many sugar-free products contain Xylitol, a deadly substance that causes a rapid increase in your dog’s blood insulin levels. This causes your dog to become weak, lethargic, and disoriented. Vomiting, loss of control, seizures and liver failure and death may occur.
Chocolate contains toxic theobromine and caffeine contributing to fatal heart rhythms and central nervous system issues. One ounce per pound is all it can take for your pup to become ill within 6 to 12 hours. Thirst, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, hyperactivity, loss of coordination, fever, tremors, seizures, collapse, and even death.
Raisins are also toxic.
Hard candies and lollipops can be choking hazards.
Wrapped candies can cause intestinal obstruction.
*Numbers – have the phone numbers for poison control, 24-hour emergency vet hospitals, and your vet in an easy place for all members of your household to get to.
So. Now that I have taken all the fun out of Halloween, I’ll add a little back in by offering some yummy treats your pup (and you, if you wish) CAN have.
Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree
½ cup Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar, salt or oil added) * no sweetener/xylitol
1¾ cups Oat Flour
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer bowl fitted with a beater attachment. Mix on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. The mixture should be thick and fudgy, not sticky, like cookie dough.
3. Roll the dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper until it’s ¼” thick. Use a mini bone cookie cutter to punch out bone shapes. Reroll the dough and punch out more cookies, until the dough is used up.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until firm and dry. Let cool completely, then store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Desserts With Benefits
Candy Corn Dog Treats
Yield: depends on the size of the ice cube tray
1-2 small bananas
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt, divided
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
silicon ice cube tray
1. Fill ice cube trays 1/3 full with plain yogurt, then place molds in the freezer. Freeze for 1-2 hours, or until yogurt is set.
2. In a small bowl or glass, mix together 1/2 cup yogurt with canned pumpkin. Stir until combined, then pour over frozen yogurt in ice cube molds, making sure to leave space at the top for the third layer.
3. Return to freezer for another 1-2 hours, or until set.
4. Mash banana(s) in a small bowl and stir in any remaining yogurt, then pour over frozen pumpkin layer in mold.
5. Freeze until set.
6. Pop treats out and serve as needed.
Recipe adapted from Beagles and Bargains
This delicious recipe brought to you by:
I wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Halloween!
Live, Love, Bark,
P.S. Got any extra tips for us? Please share them in the comments! You could save someone a lot of heartache!