On a personal level, the education team love Halloween, and in a typical year we would host our infamous Howl-O-Ween event, where we share spooky stories about the Werewolf of Dogs Trust, create some fab spooky artwork, and most importantly, deliver our workshop to ensure we all have a safe Halloween celebration with our dog sidekicks.
The Dogs Trust Education team when not in our typical Dogs Trust uniforms
Unfortunately Howl-O-Ween won’t be happening this year, but worry not, we can still share our safety tips with you, both on today’s blog post, and in our downloadable Howl-O-Ween workshop (keep reading to find out about that gem!)
So, while we on the education team love Halloween, unfortunately, we’re very aware that not everyone feels the same, and in fact this time of year can be very scary for our dogs. Not scary, because of the ghosts, ghouls and goblins, but because of the fireworks.
You see, we all know that vampires and werewolves are make believe. And we recognise that that if we keep a safe distance from fireworks, they can be thrilling. Our dogs however, will not understand this. Dogs won’t realize where the loud bangs and shrieks are coming from, which can make them stressed and frightened.
So, to ensure we all stay safe this year, we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with some tips
🎃 A frightened dog may not be safe to approach. If you see a dog wandering around on Halloween night (or any night for that matter) do not approach it. Find an adult that you know (never approach a stranger) and tell them about the dog. Remember, we should never approach a dog, unless that dog is with an adult that we know. And even then, we should only do so in a very safe way. If you aren’t aware of how to safely approach a dog, take a look at our Secret Life of Humans videos on our Be Dog Smart page.
🎃If you have dogs at home, provide them with a safe space at home where they can retreat. Perhaps you can turn the radio or television on in this room to drown out the loud fireworks from outside. When your dog is in their bed (or den), leave them be. Remember we should never approach a dog when they are sleeping or resting.
While former education dog Magic's den was built for Halloween, she took to it so much that it stayed up for quite some time after
🎃Fireworks tend to start at dusk. If your dog normally gets their dinner after dark, perhaps you could ask an adult to give them an early dinner on Halloween night. The fireworks may put them off their dinner, and no one likes to miss dinner! Remember that you should leave your dog alone when they are eating or chewing on a bone, and certainly don't share any of your trick or treating goodies with them.
🎃One of the best things about Halloween (for humans) is the chance to dress up as something super terrifying. We’ve no doubt you have some amazing costumes ready to wear on Halloween night. These costumes are undoubtedly very creepy and may scare your dog. Even if you aren’t dressing up as something traditionally scary, your dog still may not recognise you, so don’t approach them when you are in fancy dress.
🎃While we humans love dressing up, dogs look perfect the way they are. Don’t put them in costumes, as this may be uncomfortable for them
These top tips are really only scratching the surface on how we can share the spooky season with our dogs in a safe way. Worry not however, as we have created a fun and interactive downloadable workshop that you and your family can download for free on the Clever Paws section of our Education website. This workshop comes with a printable worksheet that you can print off and fill in, as you complete the workshop.
Happy Halloween folks. We wish you a safe and ghoulish night!