HALLOWEEN and the
period leading up to it can be a frightening and
confusing time for many dogs. Fireworks tend to be
sudden, unpredictable and bright and sadly this
combination of effects can often have a profoundly
negative impact on some dogs. In fact, research
carried out on behalf of Dogs Trust charity found
that 52% of dog owners describe their dogs as being
quite or very frightened by fireworks and bangers.
If your dog is feeling
scared or nervous here are some tips you can do to
help make sure your dog doesn’t get too upset or
injure themselves in a panic...
• Walk your dog before
it gets dark to avoid fireworks and flashing lights
and to make sure he is well exercised and has had a
toilet break before the fireworks begin.
• Feed your dog before the fireworks begin as he may
become unsettled and not want to eat during the
• Provide a safe hiding place – at noisy times
around Halloween, make sure your dog has somewhere
safe in his or her favourite room, perhaps under the
table. Close the curtains, turn the lights on, and
turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out
the firework noises.
• Don’t leave your dog alone outdoors during the
Halloween period, scared dogs can make desperate
attempts to escape and there is the danger of him
• Be extra careful when opening the door as your dog
may escape; if possible, try to ensure there is
another closed door between your dog and your front
• Never force your dog to wear a dog costume –
loosely tied festive doggie bandanas are usually
more acceptable for dogs.
• Do not force your dog to receive any unwanted
attention even from family members, as they may not
recognise people in costumes.
• Make sure that your dog is wearing a collar and an
ID tag and that his microchip details are up to date
via www.fido.ie in
case he escapes.
Halloween, Head of Operations at Dogs Trust, Karla
“Halloween can unfortunately be a terrifying and
confusing experience for some dogs. Dogs’ hearing is
approximately four times more sensitive than us
humans and they can hear much higher frequency
sounds than people, so you can imagine how loud the
whizz, pop and bang of fireworks can be for dogs! We
are asking people to please think twice about taking
their dogs ‘trick or treating’ as the extra
excitement around the event and meeting strangers
may cause them distress.
We are also reminding people to keep treats and
sweets away from your furry friends. Chocolate,
raisins, grapes and the sweetener xylitol are toxic
to dogs. If you suspect your dog has eaten anything
he shouldn’t, please call your local veterinary
practice immediately and always store their out of
hours’ emergency number on your phone.”