Don't Get Spooked — Halloween and Your Dog

With October more than halfway gone, you may be making your plans for Halloween. Who will you be this year — a witch? Jon Snow from Game of Thrones? Maybe Beyoncé? However you decide to dress up, when planning your big night, don’t forget your dog. 

Dressing up your dog?

If you’re considering a costume for your pup, think safety, movement, and visibility. You’ll want to make sure the outfit’s design and fit keep your dog’s eyes, ears, and nose free and clear. Whether going out or staying in, your pup needs full access to sight, sound, and smell. 

Also, you’ll want a costume without buttons or any similar choking hazards that could cause harm, and you’ll want to check its fit to ensure it doesn’t interfere with or restrict your best friend’s movement. If you do plan to go out, a reflective collar or light could help increase your dog’s visibility to vehicles and other trick-or-treaters.

No sweet treats!

Remember, sweets are everywhere on Halloween, and candy’s not typically dandy for dogs. Common candy ingredients — chocolate and raisins, for instance — can make dogs sick, as can macadamia nuts. The sugar-free sweetener Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. It’s found in many types of chewing gum and candy, as well as some kinds of peanut butter. 

If you want to make sure no one’s feeling left out, your dog’s usual treats will be as welcome on Halloween as they are on any other day.  

Staying in or going out

Let’s say you’re staying home on Halloween and expecting lots of goblins and ghosts to stop by. You may want to avoid doorbell stress by keeping your dog in a quiet area of your home. You could also turn on some soothing music to mask some of the noise and help calm your pup.

Going out with your furry friend? Costumed or not, make sure your dog’s collar or harness is secure and well fitted and that the leash is properly attached to the D-ring. You might even consider two collars — with the leash attached to both D-rings. On this night of monsters and make-believe mayhem, it’s easy for a pup to get spooked and try to make a run for it. 

Have fun — and be safe!

Do you like to do it up for Halloween — down to the pumpkin carving? Check this out: Wag! pumpkin-carving templates! Download, print, and follow the instructions to see how creative you can be this year with your jack-o'-lanterns. We've included templates for a Boston Terrier, a paw print, and a goofy dog — in different sizes for different sized pumpkins.  Please post your carved creations on social media with #wagwalking so we can see!

Halloween can be a fun night for all creatures — two-legged and four. Still, it pays to keep safety in mind whether you’re celebrating … or simply waiting for the annual madness, and accompanying goblins, to move on past.


Remember, pumpkin carving uses sharp tools, and parental supervision is strongly recommended. Wag! assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein. Template cannot be redistributed for commercial purposes.