Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keeping Fido Safe and Happy by Regina Duke

Please welcome Regina Duke to NN! We are so excited to have you!

“Buster’s Halloween: Keeping Fido Safe & Happy”

One of the joys of pet ownership is including our dogs and cats in the memorable moments of our lives. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays. The temptation to dress our pets up in costume and show them off to the visitors at the door is a powerful one. I have even dressed my dogs in costumes for Halloween fundraisers for local animal shelters and we all had a ball!
Before investing in an expensive costume for your pet, there are a few things you should consider.
Does your pet enjoy wearing costumes? Will she tolerate a full-body outfit? Will she be uncomfortable?
If you’ve never put clothes on your pet before, you may want to test out Fido’s tolerance ahead of time. My papillon, Buster, will wear a neckerchief for a short while, but nothing else. His brother Darby will wear a full-body outfit, and loves his fleece hoodies in the cooler weather. And of all things, my little Sheltie, the one with all the fur, will let me pile on the clothes even though she is never cold!
The next considerations are when and where to don the costume. If your dog barks hysterically when the doorbell rings, or threatens to pull the candy dish out of your hand, you may prefer to do an afternoon photo opportunity of your pet in costume next to your Halloween decorations. This will create a lovely keepsake, and by the time the kids start banging on the door, Fido can be safely tucked away in a bedroom or in his crate for the duration of the evening. His stress level, and yours, will be greatly reduced.
If you can’t bear to separate Fido from the activities at the front door, be extra careful when you open and close it. For Fido’s sake, keep him on a leash and attach the leash to your belt to leave your hands free for handing out treats. Even the most trustworthy pet can get overly excited and either jump on a small visitor or make a dash through the door to chase a car. If you have an exercise pen or other type of gate, you may want to separate the entry from the living room. This will allow your dog to watch the goings on without getting too near the door or the kids.
Of course, you probably already know that chocolate is taboo for dogs. Be sure someone in the family is keeping track of Fido during the excitement of trick-or-treating to make sure he doesn’t eat something that will cause him harm.

Trickster and Other Stories http://www.amzn.com/B005OKJMGY            

Have a great pet-friendly holiday!

Regina Duke

http://www.lindalouwrites.com (for more dog information)


Regina Duke said...

Tabitha, thank you so much for having me! When I am not working on my next novel (romance at the moment) I am playing with my dogs and getting ready for the next Rally Obedience trial. I hope everyone's pets have a very safe and happy Halloween! :-)

E. Ayers said...

Love your thoughts on dogs during the festivities. They sense the excitement and want to be part of it. Even the most sweet loving dog can get loose on Halloween. And not every child is accustomed to animals. So for them coming face to face with a dog can be scarier than decoration.

And don't forget the cat. They can slip out that door so quick!

Regina Duke said...

So true! We mustn't forget the kitties. They must also be watched carefully and tucked safely away from that open door. :-)

Roxy Boroughs said...

Lots of great tips.