Dogs around Halloween
What to bear in mind for Halloween!
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Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for kids and adults alike. However, it can be a stressful and unsettling experience for our furry friends. The constant stream of unfamiliar faces knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell can make pets anxious, and it's essential for pet guardians to understand why and how to set them up for success during this season.
Here are just some of the obvious reasons why especially our dogs might not be happy with Halloween visitors:
- Unpredictable Noise and Activity: Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. The sudden noise of doorbells and excited children can startle and stress them out.
- Costumes and Masks: Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell and vision. People dressed in costumes, often with masks and unusual attire, can be confusing and even frightening for them.
- Invasion of Territory: Dogs are territorial animals, and when strangers approach their home, they may perceive it as a threat.
- Exercise and Play: Before the Halloween festivities begin, take your dog for an extra-long mooch walk or play session to help them be mentally and physically satisfied.
- Secure Your Dog: Keep your dog in a safe and comfortable space away from the front door and especially not free in the yard. Ensure your dog has access to their favourite toys, a cozy bed, and fresh water.
- Use White Noise: To muffle the sound of the doorbell and trick-or-treaters, you can use a white noise machine or play calming music in the background.
- Provide Distractions: Offer your dog interactive toys or puzzles to keep them occupied and mentally engaged during the commotion.
- Avoid Costumes for Your Dog: While dressing up your dog for Halloween can be adorable, remember that most dogs don't enjoy it. If your dog seems uncomfortable in a costume, it's best to skip it.
- Positive Association and Desensitisation: If your dog is particularly anxious about doorbells or strangers, it might in general be a good idea to engage a force free trainer to help teach your dog that visitors at the door can be a good thing and gradually acclimate them to these situations.
- ID and Safety: Ensure your dog is wearing proper identification in case they accidentally escape during the festivities. This includes an updated ID tag and a microchip.