Keep Your Paws on the road
While out shopping today, I noticed that the stores are already selling Halloween costumes everywhere. This reminded me to write a post on dressing up your dogs.
There are lots of people who want to make their pets part of the Halloween festivities. I remember as a child I had a small dog that I would dress up in my doll's clothes. The dog didn't mind too much. However, not every dog is as good-natured with playing dress-up as that little dog of my youth.
Here are some things you might want to consider, before you buy that Halloween costume for your dog:
1. Get Your Dog Used to Wearing Clothes
It's fun to dress up your dog and there are certainly a lot of cute doggie costumes to choose from. Before you spend a lot of money to get your dog a great costume, you may want to be sure she is comfortable wearing it. Find an old t-shirt and put it on your dog. See how she reacts. Not every dog likes wearing stuff on their bodies, so if your dog is new to dressing up, I highly suggest you practice with somethings around the house. Start gradually and make sure it is a fun experience for both of you!
If you find out she doesn't like to wear a costume, you can compromise and get her a nice Halloween collar or leash for the special occasion.
Play it Safe!
Keep in mind that it's not just about your dog wearing a costume, but also about all the other people wearing them.
Whether you're out in the neighborhood trick or treating or at the door giving out candy, all the scary costumes can stress out the calmest dog. Be sure to pay close attention to your animal. A frightened dog can turn into a fear biter! Always control the situation by having your dog on-leash and at a safe distance to strangers. Don't allow young children in scary costumes to frighten your dog. Remain alert and in control of the situation at all times.
Practice Ahead of Time
As with any new situation, it's always best to set up some time ahead of the actual occasion to train your dog.
Neighborhoods will be full of Halloween themed homes in the near future. Make sure you take your dog out for a walk around the neighborhood and get him used to all the stuff in peoples' front yards.
If your dog is scared of the decorations, make sure you keep some distance between you and them at first. Do a few passes on the other side of the road before making your dog go past them too closely.
Halloween can be a scary time of year if your dog isn't used to seeing all the decorations around the neighborhood. The large blow-up decorations can be challenging for many dogs and nowadays lots of decoration even come with scary sound effects.
People in costumes can be distracting and scary for many dogs. Make sure you watch your dog's body language and keep him at a safe distance of young children. The costumes can trigger a reactive barking or lunge even for the most social animal.
Have Fun and Be Safe
Taking your dog with you on Halloween is a great way to socialize your pet and allows him to get used to a lot of busy places, noises and smells. Most dogs enjoy being outdoors and love to go on outings with the family. Taking your dog will give you an opportunity to introduce him to activities with lots of people.
But even if you practiced with your dog ahead of time, it's impossible to predict all the scary costumes and noises. Remain aware of your dog's body language and reactions the entire time.
If you notice your dog isn't enjoying himself, we highly suggest you take him home and let him be safe in the comfort of his home, while you go out without him and enjoy the Spooky Night.