Your News: Trick or treat is not so sweet

Karen Wild with her class
Karen Wild with her class

Hallowe'en has become a real event nowadays, and can be a lot of fun as long as we respect the wishes of everyone who does not want to take part. This applies to our animals, too. The shops are full of dressing up costumes and plenty are available for dogs. Here are some ways to improve your dog's experience of the night in plenty of time for you to prepare!

Dressing up your dog can be an innocent bit of fun, but some dogs find it very stressful. Dogs put up with a lot from us humans, so if you are going to dress yours up make sure they at least enjoy it, or that you have some nice games or treats on offer to make it enjoyable for them.

Knock... knock... If you want trick or treaters to come to your door, bear in mind that your dog will wonder why people are disturbing you so frequently after dark. For most dogs this would be unusual and they are masters of routine so can easily unsettle them. Don't allow them to patrol doorways and windows; instead, give your dog somewhere away from the door to settle and treat them to a tasty filled Kong toy for the evening, perhaps. Leave a radio or TV on to drown out extra noise from outside.

When the Hallowe'en treats are ready to give out, and when they are brought home, have them in a lidded tin or box placed completely out of reach from the dog. It is so easy to leave trick or treat bags lying around but it could end up being a very costly Hallowe'en if you have to rush your dog to the Vet after he has eaten all those sweets. As we all know, 'human' chocolate is also highly toxic to dogs, as are raisins, so beware.

Above all make certain your pooch does not greet little spooks at the door. I have dealt with a case where a dog rushed out and bit a trick-or-treater in sheer fright at their unusual mask and costume. This is not the sort of trick we want to encourage!

Take your dog for a walk earlier in the day, preferably whilst it is still light. Or, play a really tiring game so that you can be sure your dog will be sleeping soundly through the mayhem.

By making sure your dog is safely tucked up for the evening you also remove the risk of any canine attempts to join the local band of ghouls and ghosts during their haunts; even though this is most probably in an effort to scavenge their Hallowe'en goodies.