Mom, being a dog trainer and behavior counselor, likes to remind her dog training class students and private dog training clients (as well as all of the other pet parents she hasn't met yet) that Halloween can be a time for lots of fun with pets, but it's also a time where you need to be aware of your surroundings. A few simple and gentle safety reminders:
- Keep candy out of our reach! Dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits and other animals that like to investigate, will, so make sure it's all put away. Sometimes pieces fall out of those big bags and land under furniture, which is easy for us dogs to find...Please be aware of where you place these items, especially when they are unattended.
- Decorations: Electrical cords, lights, candles, fake spiderwebs and other interesting items can be chewed up and sometimes ingested. Hey, we're not picky - we'll eat almost anything. Please make sure we're not left alone to play with them.
- Keep up inside where it's safe. There are some people out there in this crazy world that enjoy hurting us animals, especially during the Halloween season. They also like to blow things up. Sometimes we can get extra scared and run off. So please keep us indoors where it's safer.
- Make sure we are wearing our collars with proper ID. Just in case we do get out, or get scared and run off, make sure we are wearing our license and ID tags. You wouldn't want us going to the wrong place, or having someone find us and not know how to get a hold of you.
- Plan for helping you answer the door: If your dog is around to help you greet trick-or-treaters, and you don't want him or her running out the door, or jumping up to greet (because that's how we greet you know...we are dogs) then please make sure he or she is on leash to help you. Or, keep them in another room with a chewie toy.
- Make dress-up fun! Mom loves to dress me up for Halloween! (Dad too). But she likes to make it fun for me. We play a little game called "Pavlov's Pastime". Mom breaks out the chicken or steak, or other yummy items I consider to be high value, and gives me little pieces but only when I'm wearing my outfit. Or, sometimes we play fetch. As soon as she takes the outfit off of me, all the fun stops! I now associate my dorky outfit with fun times! Now I can't wait to put it on!
Last year I was a lobster...I wonder what I'm going to be this year? Hmm, something for this safe and inquisitive canine to ponder!