Halloween safety tips

Halloween safety tips


Halloween can be great fun – we really get into the spirit here in North American, where millions of us adults dress up, and dress up our pets too. But here are some tips to keep it safe for your pets.

Some of the top dangers specific to Halloween are:

  • toxic Halloween candy – chocolate especially is deadly for small dogs like Morkies, and tinfoil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Be sure to keep your children’s haul out of the dog’s way.
  • don’t forget raisins – just a few can cause serious health problems for your Morkie including kidney failure, so keep these treats securely out of the way too.
  • lit candles – your Morkie could accidentally knock over a lit candle – consider using a no flame, no mess alternative to light up your jack-o-lantern.
  • wires and cords could harm your dog – dogs love to chew and Morkies are no exception. Make sure all wires and cords from temporary displays and decorations are properly secured and out of reach.
  • constant door bells and strangers – can be very stressful for your Morkie. Sometimes accidents happen and your Morkie might make a run for it when you’re opening the door. Be sure to keep his I.D. on, and ideally keep him quiet and comfortable in another room during the peak of activity.  Like the 4th of July, Halloween is a peak time for runaways according to the ASPCA.

Should dogs wear costumes?

Everyone loves to see dogs in costumes – in fact, most people have dressed up their pooches at some point in their lives.

However, if your Morkie is really resistant to the idea, this much stress might be a bad idea.

Start small – a little hat or a bandana, to get your Morkie used to the idea. Then try a T-shirt. Don’t rush — make it fun.

If your Morkie is anxious or upset in her costume, take it off right away and try later.

Should I take my Morkie trick or treating with us?

If you’re taking both children and a dog on your own that can be a real handful. As small dogs, Morkies can become frightened, and aren’t always as well socialized as large dogs.  My advice – if your kids are older and don’t need constant supervision, or if another adult can come with you, then give it a try.  But be prepared to take your Morkie home when he’s tired or overwrought.

Keeping your Morkie safe

Stick to your dog’s routine

So how do you protect your dog, short of canceling Halloween altogether? First, try your best to stick to the dog’s routine, especially regular walks. An exercised dog is a better behaved dog all round, so grab a walk whenever you can. The bonus – it will help reduce your own stress levels too.

Give your dog some time outs

You may want to remove your dog from the party central action if things get too hectic. A quiet room or his crate, is a far better solution than a stressed-out dog. Don’t assume your partner or someone else is watching the dog; be explicit about who’s in charge and plan ahead for the dog’s needs (a walk in the middle of trick or treating time?  Better reschedule that one).

Plan ahead

For an ounce or two of prevention, make sure your dog has his tag on at all times, with your current phone number on it. Check out which emergency vets will be open in your area that nigiht and stick that number up on the fridge.

One more tip – pumpkin!

Pure, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a great thing to keep on hand for your dog-in pumpkinn costumeMorkie. Believe it or not, it’s great for both diarrhea AND constipation. Plus it’s loaded with betacarotene which your Morkie’s system converts to Vitamin A. One or two teaspoons a day (no more!) can be very helpful to your little Morkie’s digestion.

Remember however – DO NOT feed:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • raw pumpkin
  • pulp from your raw pumpkin
  • pumpkin pie or pumpkin pie filling

Happy haunting!

Doggy Halloween trivia

Doggy Halloween trivia


Pope costumes for dogs are very popular this year

We LOVE Halloween!

Just look at these numbers: this year’s poll from the National Retail Federation showed that 68 million Americans will dress up this Halloween — and another 20 million pet owners will dress up their pet!

After Christmas, it’s the single biggest retail spending holiday of the year and that’s not counting the dental bills after!

Really popular this year for pets?

Pumpkins are always a sure bet, along with Superheroes and bumblebees. Norwalk Store Manager Walter Randall says that this year, the best selling new style is what he calls “Pop Riders.”

“You put it on your dog, it can be a princess or cat, or even a horse rider. It makes it look like the little man is on top of your dog riding it like a horse.”  OMG  Picture one of these on your Morkie!


“Pop rider” for a bigger dog…. it’s a little person on top of the pet, dressed as a cowboy, Star Wars character or whatever else strikes you. They’re all the rage this year according to retailers.

More “pop riders” – this year’s hot trend in pet costumes



Woody, the cowboy from Toy Story, rides a pug on the way to the parade.

Woody, the cowboy from Toy Story, rides a pug on the way to the parade.

Top costumes for dogs, kids and adults

  • For the 11th year in a row, WITCH is the #1 costume for adults –
    Morkie Pumpkin

    Morkie Pumpkin

    about 4.3 million of us dress up in that old standby!

  • Pumpkin is once again, the #1 costume for both dogs AND cats
  • Kids #1 costume – princess!  This will be the choice for about 3.2 million Americans
  • Minions and Star Wars characters are on the top 10 for everyone – child or adult, four-legged or two

National Retail Foundation’s 2015 Top Costumes Survey

Best. Morkie. Costume. Ever!

Best. Morkie. Costume. Ever!

amandar49 on buzzfeed

Meet Teddie – she’s not quite a Morkie; in fact she’s a 2-year-old Maltese-Pomeranian mix. With the BEST IDEA for an awesome Halloween costume that you can easily put together for for your adorable Morkie!

Make your Morkie baby into a BEANIE® BABY with this easy Ty tag

You can make a paper or cardboard Ty tag to look a lot like the real thing – in proportionate size or way bigger.


Riley Liebel shows how to make a fabric tag

Or try one in fabric that will last longer. On her crafting blog MilkPolka, Riley Liebel has helpful instructions for making a fabric Beanie tag out of red felt that’s sooo cute!

You can also download this simple PDF template free from AboutMorkies.

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Get Adobe Reader

A little Beanie Trivia

Mystic Unicorn Beanie Baby in perfect shape sells for about $6,000 today.

Ty Warner, a pretty shady businessman, released the first Beanie Babies in 1991 and they were a real flop. His idea was, get a true collectible, for just $5. Warner didn’t give up and after a few more false starts, Beanie Babies were relaunched around 2000 and over the next decade, he made more than $6 BILLION from our mania for Beanies!

Kids carried around garage bags stuffed to the top with Beanies; adults got into fistfights over them in stores and one man was even shot to death over one in New Jersey. By 1999, the bubble had burst: there were just too many around to be valuable any more.

The Pinterest Beanie!


More inspirations for your dog costume halloween

Dog Halloween Costumes – yes or no?

Dog Halloween Costumes – yes or no?

Commercially it’s the second biggest holiday of the year – surpassed only by Christmas!  We don’t like to leave our furry friends out, but should dogs wear Halloween costumes – what do you think?  Share your views below.

The least you can do to dress up your dog

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 8.54.21 PMA scarf, hat or simple vest? Seems to work for the dog who doesn’t like to dress up.  At all.

Of course, the hat and scarf can be pretty goofy, or just the standard neckerchief type.

And then there’s THIS.. awesome idea found on Petfinder’s Pinterest Page. Make your own dog collar for Halloween or any time of the year, by simply cutting apart a no-longer-needed child’s shirt. (Don’t forget thrift shops like Value Village for great finds) … Modern Dog advises: “Unpick the collar from the shirt at the neckline. You can also cut off the collar but if you go this route you will need to sew a hem around the cut edge to prevent it from fraying. Alternatively, you can finish the cut edge with decorative trim using a fabric glue like Tacky Craft Glue. Sooo cute! 

DIY dog collar from petfinder

Homemade costumes that are a little more complex

Google homemade pet costumes and you’ll find zillions of cute, fun ideas including all these at Pinterest’s Coolest Parties/Pet Halloween Costumes. Or check out the simpler page from POPsugar: 65 Pet Costumes to DIY on the Cheap.

Purchased costumes

You can go really crazy here, with costumes for your Morkie for almost any theme you can think of … PETSMART has some great costumes, and they’re 75% off right now.

Yes or no to dogs wearing Halloween costumes?

tink LOVES halloween

Not looking very happy!

It really comes down to what your little companion will tolerate, and how comfortable he or she is in a costume. At one place I worked (a busy ad agency), we had a Halloween doggy dress-up day which was tons of fun, but the dogs were in costume for just 20 minutes or so for their through-the-office parade. That was plenty.  We all were amused and then the dogs could go back to being dogs … who worked in advertising.

If you already dress your Morkie in sweaters, shirts and so on, he might be OK to leave a costume on for longer.  A costume that doesn’t interfere with walking or running is best, and it’s always a good idea to try out the costume for a few minutes at a time for the week or two before Halloween.  Let your Morkie sniff out the costume before she puts it on.

A few more tips…

  • if your dog isn’t comfortable with big groups or loud noises, skip the neighbourhood or mall pet parade
  • if you are going outside your home, don’t forget water and a dish
  • keep extra care of the leash and be sure your Morkie can’t escape; too much excitement may make him run off
  • be extra vigilant that your Morkie doesn’t get even a sniff of chocolate – a single square of dark baker’s chocolate can actually kill a small dog like a Morkie!
  • WATCH FOR candles in jack o’ lanterns and the like… the American Humane Society reports that this is a very dangerous time for dog burns and poisoning
  • finally, have fun….. after all, that’s the idea, right?

So what do you think? Costumes or not?

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