Top tips on how your dog can have a safe and scare-free Halloween

By Mary Dennehy

HALLOWEEN can be a very unsettling time for our four-legged friends, with many dogs feeling scared and confused by Halloween celebrations like fireworks, bonfires and fancy dress. 

Dublin charity Dogs Trust has issued some advice and practical tips for Halloween that can help your four-legged friend to have a safe and scare-free October.

Halloween 2015

(pic: Dogs Trust) 

Keeping your dog safe this Halloween

Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid fireworks and flashing lights.

Provide a safe hiding place for your dog indoors and close the curtains as many dogs are afraid of the flashing lights from fireworks, not just the noise they make.

Play soothing music on your TV or radio to drown out scary noises.

Do not leave your dog alone outdoors during the Halloween period, scared dogs can make desperate attempts to escape and there is the danger of him being injured.

Be extra careful when opening the door as your dog may escape; if possible, try to ensure there is another closed door between your dog and your front door.

Make sure that your dog is wearing a collar and an ID tag and that his microchip details are up to date via in case he escapes. 

Halloween Lucas

Lucas (pic: Dogs Trust)

Also remember….

Never force your dog to wear a dog costume – loosely tied festive doggie bandanas are usually more acceptable for dogs.

Keep the treats and sweets away from your furry friends. Chocolate, raisins and the sweetener xylitol are poisonous to dogs.

If you suspect your dog has eaten anything he shouldn’t, please call your local veterinary practice immediately and always store their out of hour’s emergency number on your phone.

Do not force your dog to receive any unwanted attention, even from family members, as they may not recognise people in costumes.

Please think twice about taking your dog on a trick or treat outing. The extra excitement around the event and meeting strangers may cause them distress.

For further information visit


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