Dear Labby: My Dog Is A Halloween Scaredy Cat! Can We Turn Down Trick-Or-Treaters?

Scotch terrier wearing a devil costume and sitting on a white background

(Picture Credit: eAlisa /Getty Images)

One of our DogTime fans has questions for Dear Labby about her new dog’s fear of Halloween commotion! She writes:

Dear Labby,

I adopted a very skittish Scottie a few months ago, and this will be her first Halloween in my home.

We have good relationships with all of our neighbors and usually receive quite a few trick-or-treaters. Since our dog is still adjusting to her new digs, I believe that endless doorbell ringing and a stream of kids would set her back significantly.

I’m wondering if it’s socially acceptable to let the porch go dark this year? If so, what do I tell my neighbors when they ask where we were?


Holidays Are Uneasy for Nervous Terrier and Edgy Dog-parents

Dear Labby Has The Answer

scottish terrier

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Dear Holidays Are Uneasy for Nervous Terrier and Edgy Dog-parents,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to put on my town crier costume and proclaim this:

Halloween, like 4th of July, is a terrible time for animals. If you have pets, keep them indoors. At best, the sugar-induced screeches from the little ones will drive your pup batty. At worst, your pet could face intentional taunting or even physical provocation by older kids.

Remember, H.A.U.N.T.E.D., your first priority Halloween night is not to see that mini Elsa gets her fun-size Butterfinger — or is it fun-size Elsa and mini Butterfinger? Rather, it’s to ensure your animals are safe and comfortable.

With the ongoing pandemic, you may not even get many trick-or-treaters this year, if any, which will be a good thing for your dog!

There’s nothing wrong with sitting this one out. If any neighbors ask for an explanation, you can tell them you were observing the annual fright fest with true gusto — by “resting in peace.”

Let Trick-Or-Treaters Know Not To Knock Or Ring

You can take it a step further by leaving a note on your door letting people know not to knock or ring the doorbell. My friend left a note one year saying that she was very sick and contagious. That might keep people from calling at your door, especially this year with coronavirus fears being the scariest part of the season.

You could even put a cover over your doorbell to keep people from ringing it. You could also wrap caution tape, which you can get at pretty much any major home improvement store, across your front porch to let people know you’re closed for the holiday. Just make sure it doesn’t look too much like an inviting Halloween decoration.

Or a simple “We’re out of treats!” sign. You know. Whatever you think works best. Just keep that pup happy and safe this Halloween without shame.

Are you keeping the neighbors away from your dog on Halloween? Do you have a question for Dear Labby? Let us know in the comments below!