Halloween Safety for Dogs: 4 Tips to Try Now

Here are my “big 4” tips to keeping your dog safe this Halloween.

1. Holiday Cupboard: Start a tradition to keep all things Halloween locked up tight — candy, toys, glow bracelets, costumes, and decorations. By calling it a “Holiday” cupboard, bin, shelf, etc, your family can get into the habit of being mindful around keeping holiday props and foods out of your dog’s reach. It’s important to educate your family as to why this is important.

  • Poison hazards: Xyilitol, even in a small amount is deadly to dogs. This ingredient is prominent in sugar-free gums (and their wrappers), but also sneaks up into other household products like toothpaste and mouthwash. If you haven’t already conditioned your family to read all labels for xylitol, then this is a great time to do it! Commit to a 100% xyilitol-free residence. As you already know or suspect: dogs should not eat any candy. You have probably heard of people foods, for example chocolate is bad for dogs as well.
  • Props: Though not outright poisonous, glow bracelets and sticks are highly irritating to dogs.  Other Halloween gear can pose dangers as well, for example choking hazards or intestinal blockages.

2. Decorate on High: This is another tradition that will help with holidays beyond Halloween. Make sure all decorations — including man-made, seasonal plants or fruits, and festive decorations — are out of reach! You don’t want your dog choking or getting a blockage from eating your decorations (like fake spiders and webs). Plants and fruits can be poisonous to your pets. And if left out too long in all their decorative glory, festive decorations can start to develop toxic mold too.

3. Safe and Sound: Whether you are expecting to receive trick-or-treaters or you will have your own trick-or-treaters dashing in and out of the house, make sure your dog is supervised, confined, or both. Know your dog and your environment. For example, where I live in downtown San Diego we get a lot of fireworks during the fourth of July. Year-round we also hear them, but the proximity and duration is not as intense. Because the proximity and the duration of the holiday fireworks cause too much stress in my dogs, my only plan on July 4 is to stay home and give them “boom boom treats.”

Check and re-check the floors and accessible table tops, etc for any dangers (candy, candy wrappers, plastic rings, etc).

If you have guests coming in, make sure that their coats and bags are stored up high too. I go over “house rules” whenever we have guests. I tell them about the time my sister left her purse on the rug and Theo ate her twenty dollar bill. I also typically make sure that my guests don’t have gum, just to be safe. Everything is “up and away” from my dogs.

4. Out and About: If you are taking your dog out, know that watching him is a full time role. This means if you have kids and a dog out with you, you should have one adult supervising the kids and one with eyes on your dog. Hawk-eye supervision because there is more commotion, more absent-mindedness, more dangers on the ground.

Bring your own treats for him and know how many he should have. Even if your neighbors offer a dog treat, simply ask that they give your dog your treat instead.

Keep and eye on how your doing is doing emotionally too. If you dog gets stressed, you should go home with him.

Did I miss a tip? Comment below!


Facebook Banned These video Ads – Can you Help Share them?

Our Facebook ad goal was to connect with dog lovers who like (or love) the idea of the Barker Apartments — luxury apartments with a built-in dog rescue. Facebook didn’t want any of it, with quite hilarious reasons for rejection. (They had approved the same video with a black background prior but I paused that so I could make it more on brand… then they rejected me per clauses in their terms that don’t apply… in other words, they didn’t really look at the ad. I was working in the middle of the night so it could have been a lost in translation issue. Who knows!)

Update: Now Facebook approved the ad and it started running. But due to the inconsistency with approved versus not approved I would still LOVE it if you share these videos! You can DOWNLOAD the videos below!

Anyhoo, below you will find the videos we would love for you to share, with a link to our home page, where we have an intro followed by the email signup. The link is https://thebarkerapts.com. Our goal in sharing is to gather together dog lovers who want to see this become real. Did you know that in order to do crowd funding you need your crowd first? We are building that crowd, and no, they don’t have to ever give us money. We are looking for support beyond that – in terms of spreading the word, chiming in with ideas, and so forth.

Please post:

(1) A video (choose from below)

(2) What you think of The Barker Apts project / why you want to see it become real or a mention that the vision is luxury apartments with a built-in dog rescue

(3) Call to action: Ask your follows to go to https://thebarkerapts.com to sign up for updates

(4) Bonus points: Tag people who would be interested and tag @thebarkerapts

Wide Video (Download Video – 6MB)

Square Video (Download Video – 4MB)


Paws for a Moment

Help spread the word about our complimentary program that helps shelter dogs get adopted! By using a simple clicker and a bag of treats, the human volunteers will click every time eye contact is made. This will help dogs to “offer” eye contact more, and can potentially impact adoptability (even though this has not been shown scientifically). Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist at Azabu University in Japan found that the “loving gaze” we share with our pets is rooted in oxytocin-mediated eye-gaze bonding. But guess what?

  • Eye contact is something dogs naturally avoid
  • Shelter dogs who are scared will avoid eye contact even more than dogs normally do

So how can you help? In short, by using a simple clicker and a bag of treats, volunteers will click every time eye contact is made. This will help dogs become more comfortable with making eye contact and thus help more dogs get adopted.  Sign up here to get the entire course and course assets for free.

Eye contact is one of the first behaviors you can clicker train for. The other mentioned in this course is “touch,” a targeting behavior. We plan to expand on this course to incorporate more ways to help dogs get adopted.

(1) Lay down behavior, as it was shown that if a dog lays down next to a potential adopter, adoptability increases.

(2) General training videos, demonstrating training plans in line with these recommendations for shelter dogs.

The v1 of the course is up and ready for you!  Click here to get the entire course and course assets for free. We will keep adding to this! (And it will always be free for you to use!)


Calling All Artists: Winner Gets $500

Enter for a chance to win $500! We want your concept sketches. Think dog habits, doggie pools, dog runs, apartment amenities that dogs would love, apartment amenities that humans will love… Think cafes with 2 way mirrors so that patrons can see the dogs without bothering them… an elevator with a special yellow light to let others know a shy dog is on board… a communal rescue van… a stage… a snow habitat… smart drains in units… Think it all up! Use COLOR. Make it magical. We want to share the wildest vision… the Vegas hotels will envy The Barker.

Submit your digital work by Oct 18, 2019. This means sketches, videos, whatever you got!

By entering, you are granting permission for us to use your work. We are happy to provide you with a referral for your beautiful work.

Thank you so much! Winner will be announced by Oct 25, 2019.