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Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

Halloween is a great time for kids of all ages to dress up as the character they would most like to be and ring neighborhood doorbells for treats.

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But unfortunately the holiday isn’t always fun for your Golden Retriever. They may become overly excited by the continually ringing doorbell ---- not to mention anxious because the visitors are strangers who aren’t coming inside.

Friendly dogs may also want to greet every visitor frightening children who aren’t used to dogs. The fears can definitely work either way.

With that in mind, you can take action to maintain a fun Halloween for your Golden Retriever along with the trick-or-treaters who may be at your door this year.

Here are some things you can do to keep your pet safe on Halloween:

*Provide safe treats

Many pet stores are selling treats with Halloween shapes if you’d like to have your pet join in the fun But always make sure whatever you give your pet is safe to eat. This means no chocolate or other candies which can be toxic to your Golden.

*Keep dogs away from the front door

Keep your pet in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. The continuous opening and closing of the door, ringing of doorbells, and general noise associated with groups of people approaching the house can be stressful or confusing to pets. Your Golden may feel the need to protect their home and humans and may bite your bizarre-looking visitors ---- which may or may not be covered by your Homeowners policy.

*Choose dog costumes wisely

If you want to dress your dog up, the general rule here is keep it simple and safe. For example, a bandanna or decorative collar would suffice. If your dog can tolerate wearing a full costume ---- and actually likes it---- pick one that fits comfortably.

*Have dogs wear tags or IDs

Always make sure that your Golden has proper identification. If your dog gets out of the house and is lost, a collar, tags and a microchip can be lifesaving. Dogs can easily become frightened or spooked by loud or unusual sounds on Halloween night and may try to run away from you. Should this happen, having the dog’s ID tag in place will help you get your pet back.

*Don’t leave dogs alone in the house or backyard

Dogs may find it very frightening to sit in a dark room or backyard alone while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by your home. Also, your normally friendly dog can become aggressive and protective and lash out at a friendly ghost or witch. If your dog is upset by the trick-or-treaters, he/she might damage the interior of your house or yard trying to get out ---- resulting in a possible unsafe result.

The general rule of thumb is to try to stay with your dog during this time of evening. That way, everyone is calm and happy and your Golden stays safe from harm.

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Do you have any Halloween safety tips that have worked for your beloved Golden Retriever? Please share them with us at GRRA. We'd love to hear from you. Have a very safe and enjoyable Halloween, everyone!

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