Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated February 17, 2009)
So, Halloween comes around, and you and your spouse are committed to take your kids trick or treating. Trick or treating is just a part of childhood, and so you shouldn't be surprised when your kid comes home from school and asks you when you're going to take them trick or treating. And seriously, trick or treating is a fun thing for kids! It's a rite of passage of sorts, and you'll help them create memories that will last them forever. As a parent though, you do need to factor in other concerns with your trick or treating outing, and one of those concerns is what to do with your dog.
It may seem like killing two birds with one stone, to take your dog trick or treating with you. You can have fun with your kids and give them a good time, and you can also give you dog some exercise. This plan seems perfect, no? Well, taking your dog trick or treating may not be the best idea for a few different reasons. There are a few risks involved with taking your pet, and it could also add some strain and stress to your experience.
Your kids probably don't mind your pet, and probably think your family's dog is the best dog in the whole world. However, not all children will think that. Many children are apprehensive around dogs, and become seriously frightened when encountered with one. Normally, other children's fears aren't usually a problem when you're just walking the dog on a normal day, but Halloween is a different matter all together. On Halloween, you expect children to be out and wandering the streets collecting their candy. You don't want to scare the other children out trick or treating, and especially if your dog is a large one, you'll want to leave your pet at home.
Another concern regards the dog's own safety. Dogs can sometimes get antsy when around a lot of people, and it's not like trick or treating is vigorous exercise anyway. You just go door to door and make a million different stops; it can get monotonous and tiresome for parents (and even for children sometimes), so it can definitely grow old for dogs. If your dog gets too bored, it might try and make a break for it, potentially resulting in a lost dog and a sad kid. Also, if the dog is scared (it could easily happen on Halloween with those people who hide in front lawns and such), the dog could bolt, producing not-so-good results.
So, trick or treating with your dog may sound like a good idea initially, but trust me, you should avoid it. You, your dog—and maybe even your kids—will be grateful if you just leave the dog at home. You can have fun with your pet after the trick or treating—your dog will still be there when you get back!
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