It's hard to believe that Halloween is already just a month away! The year has flown by and it's time for everybody to get in a spooky mood for the upcoming holiday. While Halloween is without a doubt one of the best holidays of the year, it can cause stress for some people because of their pets. It's always fun to bring your dogs out for some Halloween fun with your kids, but there's definitely some tips and tricks for everybody to follow in order to ensure that every Trick-or-Treater has the best night ever.
As Petplan points out, the most important question to ask yourself as Halloween approaches is whether or not your dog will actually enjoy participating in Halloween festivities. The thing to remember about trick-or-treating is that there will be a lot of loud, energetic children participating, as well as strangers who might want to approach your furry friend and the possibility of stray chocolates laying around on the ground. For dogs who have the tendency to become anxious or aggressive with boisterous crowds, then trick-or-treating may not be the best activity for your dog.
If your pup is up for the task, though, there are some simple tips you can follow to make sure everybody has the best time ever. Before you break out your dog's cute costume, read through these awesome tricks from Petplan:
- Keep your dog on a leash. We know that this seems obvious, but it bears repeating! Even if your dog is totally friendly and reliable off-leash, other people and their children may not be comfortable around him. So keep him on a leash, and respect other people’s personal space as you trick-or-treat.
- Keep your dog on public walking paths and sidewalks. Stay off of neighbors’ walkways and porches. Again, just because you love your dog like you love your children, doesn’t mean that everyone else loves your dog as much. In fact, people may have landscaping or yards that are not dog friendly, or they may even have another dog that won’t welcome other four-legged visitors near their home.
- Scoop the poop! Again, this seems obvious, but is worth a mention. Bring everything that your dog may need on an extended walk. This includes treats for training, a bowl and a bottle of water and lots of poop bags.
For those dogs who do get stressed out in crowds and around strangers, staying home on Halloween can also be difficult. With excessive doorbell ringing from trick-or-treaters, anxious dogs might become overwhelmed. Don't worry, though, because there are ways to help this situation run smoothly:
- Set up a quiet room or have a crate prepared. This ensures a calm spot for your dog if the excitement gets to be too much. Some dogs are fine for the first few visitors, but then get burned out if there are too many people at once. Keep stress levels low by giving your dog a relaxing area to rest if the night starts to get too busy.
- Don’t force your dog to interact. If you know that your dog has issues with rough petting, multiple people approaching at once or strangers coming to your door, keeping him in a quiet room is a safer and less anxiety-producing option for your dog.
- Teach your dog to stay at doorways. Trick-or-treat night is a great time to put Spot’s training to the test — give positive reinforcement for hanging back and practicing his “stay” instead of bounding through to greet trick-or-treaters. Of course, be sure that he has a good command of this trick before Halloween night when excitement and stress are at a high!
In order to make sure that your dog enjoys a happy and healthy Halloween, visit the Petplan fetch! blog for great advice from our vets. Happy Halloween!