Halloween, dogs and Covid-19: Be alert to this year’s unique challenges
Covid-19 has affected every part of our lives during 2020, and this has had a knock-on effect on our dogs. Covid-19 Halloween is likely to be quite different to the average Halloween too, and it is important to understand why this might come with additional risks and challenges for dogs as a result.
This article will tell you about some of the unique risks and dangers to dogs Halloween 2020 and the Covid-19 restrictions may bring, to help you to keep your dog safe.
Covid-19 trick or treating and dogs
Trick-or-treating during Covid-19 is perhaps one of the main things that is going to look a little weird this year, and in ways other than the costumes! Fewer people are likely to allow their children to go trick-or-treating and risk exposing themselves or others to Covid, particularly in localised areas with additional restrictions in place.
This also means fewer people coming to the door and out and about on the streets, which is an advantage if your dog is territorial or does not respond well to trick or treaters. On the flipside, older children at a loose end that would usually be trick-or-treating or at a Halloween party might be out looking for entertainment of their own.
Fewer organised provisions this year is apt to lead to more socialising outside and in the street, outside parties and bonfires, and so the potential to expose your dog to more strangers, excitement, and triggers for stress than in normal years.
Try to walk your dog before it gets dark to remove some of the risks and unknowns for dogs during Halloween under Covid-19 restrictions.
Socially distanced trick-or-treating and dogs
Some families that do wish to welcome trick or treaters or allow their children to trick-or-treat safely are looking at ways to enable socially distanced trick-or-treating. This is most likely to mean leaving chocolate and sweets some distance from their door to allow trick or treaters to help themselves.
This also means that there will be lots of chocolate and sweets outside unsupervised, which means that whether your dog is walking off the lead or simply poking their head over the neighbour’s fence, there is an even higher risk than normal of them getting their paws on some Halloween chocolate; and of course, chocolate is toxic to dogs.
Scavenging dogs, Covid-19 and Halloween sweets
Halloween trick-or-treating often results in a disappointing amount of kids throwing sweet wrappers down in the street and with them, any sweets they didn’t happen to like too. This is just as likely to happen during Covid-19 and so, provide a chance for scavenging dogs to eat something that they shouldn’t.
It might even be worse than normal too if socially distanced trick-or-treating really takes off, as kids are apt to take and so, waste more goodies when they’re not being watched or having them handed out in monitored amounts!
Dogs and Halloween chocolate at home
If you’ve decided that allowing your children to trick-or-treat or go to a Halloween gathering isn’t a good idea this year, you might be planning to stave off their disappointment by having a special Halloween evening at home instead to let them dress up and enjoy the seasonal goodies.
If this is your plan, bear in mind the need to take extra care to keep track of all of the sweets and chocolate and where your dog is, to avoid a Covid-19 Halloween dog drama that could outdo any horror movie.
Halloween during Covid-19 might mean more fireworks than normal
Finally, Guy Fawkes night falls the week after Halloween, and most of us have gotten reluctantly used to hearing the odd firework being set off and scaring our dogs around Halloween too.
However, Halloween 2020 will probably mean that this is a more acute problem than normal, as more families are looking for ways to celebrate at home, and having a small fireworks display in the garden may seem like an obvious way to make things a little more special.
Work under the assumption that Covid-19 Halloween is going to mean fireworks, and that this might upset your dog. Keep them inside and take care when opening the door to trick or treaters that a scared dog can’t escape.