It's Halloween night so you are bound to have kids knocking on your door this evening. But should your dog be front and center for all the action? Maybe not, according to Kim Melanson, behavior counselor at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
She offers these tips for dog owners tonight:
-- Give your dog a place to lay low from trick-or-treaters. A steady stream of people coming to your door can often cause stress, over excitement, and scare dogs. When kids are dressed up in costumes, even kids your dog knows can be scary to them.
-- Watch newly adopted dogs closely. Because you don't know how your new dog will react to trick-or-treaters, keep the dog in a separate room for the night.
-- If your dog is genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident, and calm, you can consider including him or her in tonight's festivities. But it's always better to have your dog on a leash and sitting while saying hello to kids as they come to the door.
-- Halloween night is too busy a night to practice training and polite greetings at the door with your dog. It's a good night to give your dog a kong stuffed with peanut butter and his own space in a quiet room for the night.
-- Keep treats out of reach of your dog. Some candies, fruits, nuts, and chocolate can upset your dog's digestion. Some are even dangerous and poisonous for dogs.
-- Remember that Halloween decorations can scare your dog too. Keep the scary decorations outside and out of your dog's sight. Also, make sure decorations are secure for your dog's safety. Electrical wires and cords in the house could attract dangerous chewing and dogs can easily knock over candles.
-- Beware of tricksters. Unfortunately some people still like to vandalize and play dirty tricks on Halloween.
Is your pet dressing up today? Or have you attended a pet parade this year? Share a photo of your pet in costume with us! This is Piper, a boxer from Harwich and a "rabid Red Sox fan."
"Fear the Beard," writes her owner Denise.