Virginia Simpson and Chance

Have a Safe and Happy October!

by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

Fall is officially here and Halloween is almost upon us!  Some tips for a safe and happy October...

Health wise, the most obvious thing to watch out for this month is going to be all the extra candy floating around and possibly falling on the floor!  Chocolate is no good for dogs, but for some reason, most of them don’t seem to know this.  Try and keep it in closed cupboard doors when you are not partaking of your delicious stash.  You don’t want to run the risk of your pup forgetting their manners and stealing some off the tables as the trip to the vet can not only be very costly, but the risk of actually losing your pup altogether is not even worth thinking about.  I’ve had a client who went through this, and it is no fun to say the very least. 

Behavior wise, Halloween night is a great night to see little witches and goblins, but some dogs may find this seriously frightening and/or may uncharacteristically feel the need to protect the family from the Shrek at the front door.  When I was a kid, our family dog would bark ferociously if my dad came downstairs in his dad-PJs.  (He still wears these actually.)  She acted like she didn’t know him and would just lose it, barking and growling and running away.  She never bit him, but she was obviously very uncomfortable with this “costume” at times and my mother would have to step in, “please stop scaring the dog Brad and go back upstairs.”   If you think there is a chance of such a response, safest bet this night would be to find a quiet room for your pup to hang out with the TV or some classical music and chill out while you are busy handing out candy. 

If you have a really kid friendly fellow who has never experienced Halloween before and you want him to join in on the festivities, try and get some of the neighborhood kids to dress up in their costumes prior to the big day and let your pup get to experience a little bit of Halloween in daylight with people he knows.  This way you can test out his response to kids all dressed up and it won’t be such a dramatic thing to him come Halloween night.

And during the other days of October, enjoy the wonderfully crisp autumn air and get some endorphins going with some hiking with your pup! 


Virginia L. Simpson
Certified Dog Trainer
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
IACP Member #3141
Phone:  513.317.7484