Happy dog sat next to pumpkins in a field

Kirsten Dillon Shares Her Top Tips for Halloween With Your Furry Friend

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We spoke with Kirsten Dillon to get her tips and tricks to help you through the spooky season.
With the arrival of Halloween, filled with whimsical decor, tantalising treats, and elaborate costumes, there's excitement in the air for children.
However, our furry friends may not share the same enthusiasm for the Halloween celebrations. The chaotic environment, unusual sights, and strange noises can be overwhelming and stressful for dogs, leaving them anxious and uneasy.
In this blog, Animal Behaviourist and Canine Specialist Kirsten Dillon shares tips on safeguarding your dogs' wellbeing throughout Halloween. From keeping them away from toxic treats to ensuring they are comfortable with their environment, every little detail counts in ensuring a worry-free, happy season for both pet parents and their beloved dogs.
  • Keep your dog or puppy indoors if you can. Very few dogs genuinely like being around so many loud, erratic children wearing odd, scary-looking clothing and makeup. It is also unlikely they will have met so many strangers in one evening. It is often too much, even for the most sociable dog.  
  • Put all sweets and chocolates out of reach of your dog or puppy. Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Sweets are generally not great; however, the sugar substitute, Xylitol, is extremely dangerous and causes rapid liver failure.
  • Call a vet IMMEDIATELY, even if you only slightly suspect your dog may have ingested something toxic. Never ‘wait & watch’. You can then call the poisons helpline.
  • Check your decorations and lights are puppy-proofed and out of reach. Everything is a potential choking hazard, especially Halloween decorations.
  • Leave your puppy in the clothes nature intended. Unless you have carefully and slowly conditioned your dog to wear a jacket, jumper, etc., please leave them be. Clothing and props will only add to their stress.
  • Make a sign if you would rather not have trick-or-treaters. There are some nice examples online to help with the wording.
  • Consider a situational medicine such as Sileo if you have a noise-reactive dog. Sileo is a fast-acting, temporary medication specifically for noise-related anxieties. Ask your vet ahead of time.
  • Check your dog’s name tag and microchip details are up to date. Sometimes, dogs get scared and run off. Have your contact details up to date, and pop a reflective or light-up collar on them if they are likely to go outside.

The tips above provide a guide for pet owners to shield their dogs from unnecessary stress and the dangers lurking throughout the Halloween season. As you prepare to enjoy a spooky Halloween, keep your pet’s comfort and security at the forefront. After all, Halloween is a time for spooky fun, not scary consequences.


By Kirsten Dillon

Animal Behaviourist & Canine Specialist