Dogs Trust

Top Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe this Halloween

We are reminding dog owners to pay particular attention to their dogs’ safety and welfare this evening on what can be the worst night of the year for many dogs.

Fireworks can be particularly stressful for dogs, so we're asking all dog owners to please keep their dogs inside tonight, and to supervise them for toilet breaks, ideally while it’s still bright out.

We're also appealing to owners not to take their dog ‘trick or treating’ as people in costumes can be overwhelming for dogs and they could also attempt to run off and hide if fireworks are being set off. For those thinking of dressing up their dog, we suggest a loosely fitting festive bandana instead.

Vonna Nolan, Head Dog School Coach at Dogs Trust Ireland said: “The best way we can help our dogs through Halloween is to keep them indoors and ensure homes are as calm as possible. Closing the curtains, turning up soothing music like reggae to drown out outside noise, and giving them a safe place to hide will help dogs cope. Some dogs will seek comfort, while others may prefer to take themselves off to a quiet space so it’s important to let our dogs take the lead on how they want to be comforted.”

Sadly, many dogs can go missing this time of year as they can make desperate attempts to escape if they are frightened. With this in mind, the we are reminding owners to check that their dog’s microchip details are correct, and that they have an ID tag and collar on so that they can be quickly reunited if they go missing. It is also a good idea to ensure there is a closed door between you and your dog when opening the front door to trick-or-treaters tonight.

Niamh Curran-Kelly, Veterinary and Welfare Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland continued: “Preparation can help prevent disaster, and in the case of caring for our dogs, there is a lot we can do today to help them over the next 24 hours. If you are making up goody bags for trick-or-treaters, please make sure to store them up high and out of reach from your dog. Lots of Halloween sweets are poisonous to dogs, especially anything containing chocolate, raisins, grapes, and xylitol.

However, accidents can happen, so if you do suspect your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, please contact your vet immediately as the sooner treatment can begin, the better your dog’s chances of recovery are. Make sure to store your vet’s out of hours emergency number on your phone in case you need it later.”

For more Halloween tips and tricks, please see DogsTrust.ie/Halloween