For Immediate Release: Home Dog Training of South Florida Provides Information to Assure Halloween is Safe for Your Dog

Fort Lauderdale, Florida -Oct. 9, 2013- Halloween can be a very scary holiday for dogs, and is in fact the most dangerous holiday of the year for our canine companions. Home Dog Training of South Florida offers practical guidelines for dog owners to help dogs stay safe. These tips are based on the expertise of Bruce and Robin Edwards, having trained over 3,000 dogs in South Florida since 2006.

"Each year, we hear numerous accounts of dogs getting injured or sick, or straying, during Halloween," said Robin Edwards. "While Halloween is intended to scare people, it can be an especially frightening time for dogs, who don't understand that the holiday's antics are all in good fun. By being more sensitive to dogs' fear-driven 'fight or flight' instincts, we can help keep our furry pals from regarding Halloween as a nightmare."

Dog owners can care for their dog's safety and well-being by taking note of the following tips:

  • Keep your dog restrained. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, put him in a separate room away from the front door. This will limit his excitement, aggression or chance of running outside and getting lost or injured.
  • Check your dog's identification tag. Be sure tags are secure on your dog's collar-just in case.
  • Bring your dog indoors. Even if you have a fenced yard, keep your dog inside where he cannot be harmed or overwhelmed by costumed visitors. If he is usually housed outside, bring him in a few times before the big night to get him comfortable with being indoors. "Remember, it is a natural instinct for dogs to protect the family from strangers," said Edwards "and on Halloween there will be plenty of strangers."
  • Avoid overly assuring your dog. If your dog seems unsettled by Halloween activities, just act as normally as possible. By giving your dog extra attention or overly comforting him, you can inadvertently communicate to him that there must be something to worry about.
  • Let your dog get used to costumes. Your dog may see his family members as strangers once they don their Halloween attire. Allow your dog to scent the costumes before putting them on. Keep masks off while your dog is around.
  • Experiment first to see if your dog likes wearing a costume. While some dogs enjoy being dressed up, many do not. If he shows any resistance, don't do it. Just tie a fun bandana around his neck and he'll be happier and safer.
  • Keep candy away from your dog. Many sweets-especially those containing chocolate or xylitol-are toxic to dogs. Problems can range from a mild upset tummy to vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. For your dog's health and safety, keep candy and candy wrappers away from him.
  • Don't allow your dog near lighted candles and pumpkins. Agitated or excited dogs-and their swinging tails-can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Keep these items out of your dog's reach, or consider using a battery-powered candle instead.
  • Think carefully before taking your dog along on trick-or-treating rounds. You may unintentionally instill a new fear of strangers in him, creating a wariness that could last long past the holiday. If you do take your dog, keep a firm grip on his leash. "Dogs do not understand that the person jumping out at you will not hurt you," said Edwards. "They often think they can only help you by acting aggressively." Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner's consent.
For more information, call us at 954-424-0170 or email at

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