Autumn has begun and Halloween will soon be here, with some of us already decorating our homes and thinking about the events we might attend.

While Halloween is a fun time for lots of people, dogs aren’t always as keen.

Our furry companions can often be spooked by trick or treaters knocking at the door and if you’re unsure how to keep them at ease, look no further.

Blue Cross has listed some tips on its website to help dog owners keep dogs safe this Halloween.

News Shopper: Dog sitting down (Canva)Dog sitting down (Canva) (Image: Canva)

How can I keep my dog safe this Halloween?

Walk your dog before dark - If you’re not able to get them outside before it’s dark, Blue Cross recommends keeping them busy indoors by playing their favourite games, doing some training with them or giving them food toys to play with.

Stick to your dog’s routine – Plan ahead by keeping your dog busy if you’ve got trick or treaters coming to your door throughout the evening. You can try to keep your dog busy and if they’re used to it and you think it would be better for them, you could keep them behind a stair gate away from the entrance to your house.

Keep your dog away from the door when you greet people – You might want to keep your dog away from the open door as your dog might not know everyone who comes to the door and those knocking on the door might not be familiar with your dog. Even if they do know each other, Halloween outfits might throw them off and make them feel uncomfortable.

Why dogs shouldn't eat chocolate

Ask trick or treaters to avoid knocking your door – If you know your dog will be nervous on the night, it could be a good idea to leave any sweet treats in a box outside with a sign that says something like ‘nervous dog, please don’t knock on the door but help yourself to treats’.

Keep your dog away from sweets and chocolate – Treats such as sweets and chocolate can be toxic to dogs so it’s important you keep them away from any stashes of sweet treats.

Give your dog a reward – If your dog is doing well and behaving, you could reward them so they know that they’re doing a good job. However, if your dog becomes naughty, Blue Cross advises you to avoid telling them off as it can make the situation worse and they could be misbehaving because they’re scared or worried.


Provide a safe space – Give your dog a safe space where they can go when they’re scared or uncomfortable. Their bed or crate could act as their safe space but it’s important to make sure it’s not kept by the door or front windows.

Kongs can keep dogs busy – Stuff a kong for your dog so they can keep themselves busy as they try to get to the treat inside. Keeping some by the door could be a welcome distraction for your dog while you greet those at the door.

Visit the Blue Cross website for more advice and information.