Halloween is "fright night" for humans not dogs. Screaming, running, spooky children in masks make many dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened.
Halloween costumes are fun and are meant to disguise our normal appearance. Dogs do not understand this change in appearance and may become frightened. Costumes that change the way a person walks, stands, or their general appearance may cause a dog to react differently than usual even with those they know.
Keep in mind that children on Halloween night are excited and doing their best to be scary. This is not a fair or safe situation to put even the best of dogs in. Even the normally terrific tolerant family dog can find this night hard to handle. Along with costumes being frightening to a dog there are some that may become interesting too. Swords, tails and dangling things may be fun for an excited dog to chase and toddlers certainly won’t appreciate that.
Here's some tips to help keep your dog safe and happy on howl-o-ween:
1) Keep the goodies out of reach - sweets aren't good for dogs and chocolate is toxic.
2) Give your dog somewhere they feel safe to snuggle up, possibly a crate or their bed with some blankets.
3) Give them their own party! Get them something amazing to chew on to keep them busy, like a bone from the butchers or a treat dispensing toy - they'll love you for it!
4) Keep windows closed and curtains shut so they don't get spooked by the outside antics. Children shouting and screaming 'BOO!' in strange outfits can be very distressing for dogs.
5) Let your dog settle down somewhere away from your front door so they don't go running out and get a shock!
6) If your dog reacts to your doorbell or the door knocker, put a decorated sign outside your front door asking children not to bang on the door but to help themselves to sweets left in a basket outside!