Halloween may be a treat-filled night for us but for many dogs the spooky far outweighs the fun. From eerie sights and sounds of lawn decorations and haunted houses to kids in costumes knocking on your door, it’s easy to over-stimulate even the most well-balanced and trained dogs. Sarasota Dog Wizard has a few tips to help ensure your dog has a stress-free holiday.

Keep dogs inside. Though Halloween is typically about the treats, there are plenty of pranksters that want to pull tricks. We’ve heard horror stories of dogs being teased and taunted, let out of yards and sadly, harmed. Even a fenced yard isn’t a guaranteed safe place so better to keep your furry friend inside. If you have to take your dog out during Halloween festivities, keep them on leash and ensure they are wearing a collar with up-to-date identification.

Create a quiet place for your dog. There’s probably no other night of the year that yields more knocks on your door or doorbell rings. Even dogs who typically show little reaction to guests, may become over excited by the flurry of visitors especially ones in costume. Dogs may get spooked and attempt to run out the door or even worse, may respond with fear-based aggression directed towards your trick-or-treaters. For everyone’s safety, it’s best to keep your dog in a kennel or a separate room.

Save the treats for the kids. It’s a well-known fact that chocolate is dangerous for dogs but so are many other Halloween goodies. Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause a sudden drop in a dog’s blood sugar leading to loss of coordination and seizures. Hard candy can be a choking hazard. If your pet gets into the candy bowl and ingests something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Although your dog may look super cute in a costume of their own sitting by your side greeting little goblins and ghosts, Halloween is one of those nights when it’s better to err on the side of caution. Check your local events for Halloween for dog events that present a safer, happier but still fun way to involve your pup in Halloween.

The staff at Sarasota Dog Wizard wishes you and your pets a safe and Happy Halloween.