How To Help Your Dog Get Through Halloween
by: Bernie Boxer
Halloween isn’t too far away, and you couldn’t be more excited. While others cannot wait for summer or spring, you love fall and the spookiest holiday of the year. That’s why you’re already hanging Halloween decorations, buying candy, and planning out your costume.
Although you might love this holiday, your pet dog probably does not. Dogs often have trouble with changes and strangers, and Halloween at your house will bring a lot of both. Between odd decorations and trick-or-treaters ringing your doorbell, how can you help your dog feel safe and calm? Read on for some tips on helping your dog get through Halloween this year.
Why Some Dogs Have Problems
There are several reasons why so many dogs have problems with strangers and noise that comes with Halloween. Pet Place lists a few of these, including:
● Some breeds were made to bark at strangers or even attack them, so some dogs are predisposed to get upset during Halloween. Likewise, some are bred to alert others when noises are made.
● If your dog was neglected or hurt by strangers as a puppy, then they can “learn” to be upset with the chaos of this holiday.
● A rescue dog in particular can have issues with anxiety that can appear as aggression or fear when facing strangers or loud noises.
Plus, Halloween only happens once each year. It’s not like your dog can learn to live with it.
Besides people and noises, dogs can sometimes be confused about decorations, especially any that are electronic or animated. A skeleton that waves its arms around is great, but it can confuse your dog — and a confused dog can react aggressively or just retreat to their room. And as PetMD reminds us, Halloween candy is definitely not good for any dog.
Dog-Friendly Decorations & Treats
You want to enjoy Halloween with your pet, but what can you do to help? Since your dog is likely watching you eat treats, you want to make some pet-friendly Halloween treats for your dog. Some examples include:
● Yogurt popsicles made with peanut butter and banana.
● You can do the same with pumpkin instead.
● Make or buy dog treats, especially versions or flavors that you haven’t given your dog yet.
● No-bake coconut dog treats.
● Make popsicles with a variety of fruits but use a bone as the popsicle stick.
● Bake muffins with pumpkin flavoring and some sugar on the outside.
As for decorations, don’t get any that move around on their own, as those can give dogs anxiety. Instead, focus on immobile decorations like placing things on walls. Be careful about lights if your dog likes to chew as they can try chewing on the wires.
Tips For Trick-Or-Treaters
You’ve made some dog treats, and Halloween is finally here! Now comes the hard part — getting through the trick-or-treating. Redfin explains that you will want to keep your dog inside at that time. Don’t even take your pet for a walk, as there are likely just too many people, sounds, and smells in the neighborhood. Even the best-trained dog can make mistakes when overstimulated.
As kids come to your door, you’ll want to keep your dog in a safe space inside. Although your dog might want to say hello, keeping your dog in a quiet, secluded place in your home is often the best way to keep everyone safe and calm.
Make Halloween Great For You Both
You’re sure to have a great Halloween this year, and with a little planning and effort, you can help your pet dog have a great time as well. Make some treats for your dog, and when the kids come around for candy, keep your dog in a safe spot. After all, Halloween should spooky, not stressful.