The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

The TDL 10 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween

The TDL 10 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween
Poppy in her Seasonal Costume

As we prepare for all of the festivities of Halloween, there are a few things you can do to ensure that every member of the family is safe and happy, and has a great holiday. Here are our top tips for how to ensure your pet’s Halloween is a treat!

1. Identification

We can’t say “collar, tags and microchip” enough. If you have not gotten your pets chipped, please do so. A collar and tags are a great step to take, but collars can slip off and tags can snap off. I microchip, on the other hand, is just under the skin, and won’t be brushed off. The best option is to have the collar tags, and chip and to make sure all the information on them is up to date.

2. Keep Pets Inside

Not only are there lots of potentially frightening things out on Halloween, but unfortunately some people’s tricks get downright cruel. Pets are often let out, teased, stolen, or harmed on Halloween which is simply inexcusable. Keeping your pet inside is the safest thing for them (cats too!). Unfortunately cats seem to be in particular peril during this time of year (especially black cats) and we suggest keeping them inside several days before and after Halloween.

3. Candy is for Kids (and Adults) Only

Chocolate is highly toxic and many candies contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol which is also toxic. For best results, keep the candy for the kids and instead offer you pet a nice, dog-safe treat like a slice of apple, a carrot, or a special dog cookie. Keep your candy far out of reach from your pets and if you have a pooch who is a counter cruiser, consider some sort of closed container. Also remember that kids drop candy, so on your walks, or when you let your dog out in the yard, check for any candy children may have dropped. Also, have the numbers of your vet, and a 24 hour emergency vet on your fridge just in case. If you know your pet has consumed chocolate or candies with xylitol, especially in large quantities, seek medical attention right away.

Torree: Winner of our 2013 Costume Contest

4. Protect the Pumpkin

We all love those glowing flickering lanterns, and sometimes our pets do too… a little too much. While some lanterns use fake candles, others still have real flames which can really burn. Make sure lanterns are out of the reach of pets (remember cats may walk right past one, even on the shelf). For best results, get a fake candle, but if you are going real flame, keep a close eye on it.

5. Glow Stick Woe

Most glow sticks are non-toxic but contain a bitter substance which can cause excessive drooling and fear based reactions like running around the house. Try to keep these glow-sticks out of the reach of pets as they can often look like a toy to your pup. If they do get ahold of one, a little milk or a teat can help cleanse the palate and stop the terrible taste. You can also dim the lights and check their mouth for glowing material and wipe it from their mouth.

6. Cable Keeper

With all of those awesome talking skeletons and fancy lights, there may be several new cords, cool twinkle lights, and electronics around. Remember that your new toy may become your pet’s new toy and chewing electronics can result in shocks and burns. Keep cables organized and out of reach if possible. If you can’t keep the cords and decorations away from the dog, keep the dog away from them. It may mean no romps in the front yard until the decorations are gone, but it is better than a shocking accident.

7. Fear Factor

Halloween is a holiday of tricks, treats, and frights. Unsurprisingly, all the costumes, masks, and unexpected visitors can scare you pup. Consider letting your pet stay home from trick-or-treating and if you are going to be handing out candy, consider crating your pup to reduce the chance of escape, or keeping them behind a baby gate or pen to prevent them from running to the door. Even the most well behaved dog can become frightened and possibly nip or run when scared. If you know your dog gets frightened on Halloween, come up with a keep-calm plan. Whether it is keeping them in a quiet room, in their crate, or maybe giving them a calming treat or sedative, it is good to have a plan of how you can soothe a frightened pet. Check out our article Helping Your Dog Relax.

Jake was a big fan of his costume, but if he didn’t like the hat that cute Bandana would be just fine!

8. Careful with Costumes

Not all pets love playing dress-up. Your pet may be much more comfortable in a seasonal collar or bandana. If you do go for a costume, make sure it is not restrictive, and won’t choke or strangle your pet. Make sure your dog’s senses are not impaired. As cute as a mask may seem, impaired vision and hearing can be frightening and dangerous to your pet. Additionally consider adding some reflective tape to your pet’s costume. As much as they may stand out in their costume, when it gets dark it can be hard to see them. For best results, let your pup wear their costume a few times before the big day so they can get use to them.

9. Choking Hazards

Beware of small parts. Just like little children, dogs often put things in their mouths and can choke on them or ingest them and then have a blockage. Whether it is the little ball on their antenna, or a cute little heart pendant on the front of their costume, pay close attention to them. Remove any small parts which are not well secured or which could be chewed off. Always monitor your dog when they are in costume.

10. Disrobe when Distressed

If you notice your dog panting, cowering, shaking, or just not looking like their normal happy self, take the costume off. Thick costumes can cause dogs to overheat. Make sure you carry water for your pet if you are going out and if you notice any sign that your pet isn’t feeling their best, remove the costume.


We hope you will have a safe and happy Halloween with your pups (and kitties!). If your dog is the costume-loving type, consider entering our Costume Contest for a chance to win a Mega Pack Pack!

The Weghorst’s Pack is ready for a safe and Happy Halloween!

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