Please be sure to keep an eye on your canine companions on HOWL-o-ween. This could be a very scary and stressful time since costumes and perhaps lots of visitors are not a part of their daily life. One suggestion is to keep your dog(s) in a back room with a chewy dog treat so that the costumes do not alarm them.
Please be aware that this is also a time when many dogs dash right through the front door and over fences and, unfortunately, become lost. A costumed canine that escapes or is frightened away, could get entangled on trees, fences, etc. Please make sure all pets have tags and or are micro chipped!
If your canine companion is very well socialized, this might be the perfect time to practice door manners. If there are two people available, one person can hand out candy while the other trains the dog to sit politely not far from the door. A leash might help with this exercise.
While dressing up a canine in a costume may be viewed as fun for some pet owners, please be aware that not all dogs like to be dressed up in costumes and clothes. Remember when your mom used to make you wear that shirt you just hated? Please respect your canine's preferences in this area.
If you do plan to dress your canine in a costume please make sure that you supervise him or her. Some canines, if left alone in costume, may chew it up and ingest it. This could cause intestinal obstruction if more than small shreds of material are consumed. Also, be aware of removing all parts of the costume as some parts can get lost in the abundance of fur.
Also, please don't forget to keep the candy and holiday decorations out of reach from you canines! Have a happy and safe HOWL-o-ween!
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Beth Friedman is owner of Canine Companion Consulting, which conducts in-home dog training. Canine Companion Consulting's mission is to enhance the dog and human relationship by assisting humans to better understand dog culture and behavior, which results in a happy, well trained dog. Reach her at (602) 790-9430, Beth.Ctothe3@yahoo.com or visit www.CanineCompanionConsulting.com.