Be Cautious of the Costumes
Dogs can easily get scared when confronted with things they haven’t seen before. Whether it be frightening mythical creatures or gory masks, dogs may have a difficult time deciphering what is safe and what is not. They often cannot tell who is behind the costume, even if it’s a family member. Read your dog’s body language and if they are showing signs of fear, put them in a place they consider safe such as their crate (if well trained to go in) inside the home or a different room. Dogs that are scared should also be provided food dispensing toys such as a Kong Wobbler or Kibble Nibble.
This also goes for doggy costumes. If you plan on dressing your dog up for Trick or Treat, make them happy to wear the costume beforehand so they are comfortable wearing it. Try the costume on a few different times and give them lots of tasty treats so they have a positive experience while wearing it. If they do not like it, don’t force it.
Feed Tasty, High Value Treats When Kids or Intoxicated Adults Come By
This is one of the most important tips. With so many activities happening and new people to see, your dog may get over-stimulated. It is essential you keep a bag of high value treats – think chicken or something your dog doesn’t get everyday, to let them know everything is okay and to reinforce their good behavior.
Exercise Your Dog Before the Trick or Treaters Arrive
We all know how excited dogs can get when the doorbell rings or a visitor comes to the house. It’s a smart idea to take your dog on a long walk around the neighborhood right before everyone comes out to celebrate. Your dog could also play with other dog friends or go to a group dog daycare that day to get additional exercise. If your dog is worn out and tired he will be better suited for the long night ahead and hopefully sleep the night away.