Dogs Really Think About Halloween

Blog What Do Dogs Really Think About Halloween?

Halloween can be a lot of fun, but what does your dog think about it? While some pooches love wearing fun Halloween costumes for dogs and don’t mind the constant stream of trick-or-treaters ringing your doorbell, others find it stressful. Some aspects of the holiday can even be unsafe if you aren’t prepared, such as the chocolate in your candy bag.

Take a look at what dogs really think about this spooky holiday.

What Do Dogs Think About Wearing Costumes?

As soon as October arrives, you’ll start to see plenty of dog Halloween costume options. But should you dress up your dog? It depends on your dog and the costume.

– Only dress your dog up if you are positive that he’ll enjoy it: If you have any doubt, skip the dogs in costumes for this year. Remember that some dogs don’t like the feeling of clothing. Others may not like being handled at all.

– Choose a Safe Dog Halloween Costume: If you decide to dress up your dog for the holiday, be careful about the costume you choose. Always opt for Velcro fastenings. Avoid elastic, drawstrings, or buttons. Avoid anything dangly or that can be swallowed. And make sure your pup can move around.

Introduce the Costume Ahead of Time: Successful dogs in costumes have seen their costume before Halloween. Put your dog in the costume for a few minutes at a time before the big day. This will help him get comfortable.

Always Stay with Your Dog: If your dress up your dog, never leave him unattended. That’s especially important if you chose fun Halloween costumes for dogs that could restrict movement or breathing or have parts that could be swallowed.

What Do Dogs Think About Humans Wearing Costumes?

What about people wearing costumes? Whether you go trick or treat or stay at home, your pup will see plenty of costumed people. Masks can be especially hard for your dog, as canines use human facial expressions to read our body language. So, take it slow and watch your dog’s reaction.

What Do Dogs Think About Going Trick or Treating?

Even if your pup is well-behaved, it’s best to leave your furry friends at home when you trick or treat. After all, you can’t control the spooky costumes that may scare them. If you do go out, always make sure they are on a leash. If your dog is scared, don’t just keep him at home; put him in a separate, safe room.

What Do Dogs Think of Your Candy? And What’s Safe for Them?

After you trick or treat (or hand out candy to trick-or-treaters), you will likely have a stash of candy. Your dog may ask you for a piece, but is it safe for him?

– Never Give Your Dog Chocolate: Chocolate is among the biggest dangers to pets during Halloween. Your dog should not have chocolate, so keep any chocolate out of his reach. The risk increases with dark chocolate and smaller dogs. If your dog does get into chocolate, contact your vet immediately. The sooner you respond, the better your pup’s outlook will be.

Not sure if your pup got into the chocolate? The following are symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity (or depression)
  • Drooling
  • Tremors
  • Possibly seizures

– Keep Candy Out of Reach: Some candy may be ok for your pup, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Instead of looking for a resource to tell you about each candy, just keep it away from your pup. Importantly, dogs can’t have xylitol, an artificial sweetener. There’s also a big risk that they will eat candy wrappers. Eating either wrappers or xylitol will mean a vet trip.

– Stick to Canned Pumpkin, Not Pie Filling: If your Halloween celebration includes pumpkins, be careful about what you give your pup. He can have plain canned pumpkin and may even feel like he is in pet paradise while eating it. But don’t give him canned pumpkin pie filling, as it can have xylitol and other additives that are dangerous for your dog.

Signs Your Dog Is Scared – And What to Do

Even with the best dog training in West Palm Beach, Halloween can be overwhelming for some dogs. Learn to recognize some of the signs that your dog might be afraid of. This way, you know when to offer him resources to calm down.

Some signs of canine fear include:

  • Ears retracting
  • Tail tucking
  • Restlessness and pacing
  • Shaking or cowering
  • Moving slowly
  • Withdrawal
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Refusing treats
  • Panting
  • Yawning
  • Lip licking

And remember that your dog may try to run if he gets too scared. That’s why keeping him on a leash or safely inside your home is so important. You should also ensure he’s microchipped with up-to-date information and has an ID tag so that an animal lover who finds him can bring him home.


It’s best to leave your pup at home during trick-or-treating, ideally in an enclosed room occupied by dog toys. If you take him with you, make sure his microchip’s information is up-to-date and he’s on a leash. Keep your pup away from candy, especially chocolate, and be cautious before dressing your pup up in a costume in West Palm Beach. With those tips in mind, you’ll be ready for a fun Halloween.


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