Although Halloween’s spooky decorations, dress-ups and other antics are exciting and enjoyable for us, these things can be a bit of a whirlwind of anxiety for dogs. Luckily, with a bit of thoughtful planning, we can craft an enchanting and enjoyable evening for our furry friends, too. Here’s how to make Halloween more treat than trick for your dog:
A Gentle Introduction to Ghoulish Décor
Before the haunted decor takes over your home, let your dog inspect and sniff around the items. This introduction makes the glowing, spooky sights less intimidating – throw in some treats and soon enough that hanging skeleton will remind your pup of treats instead of terror!
Crafting a Safe Space from Phantom Visitors
With little witches and warlocks ringing the doorbell, it might get overwhelming. Set up a comfy retreat for your dog with toys and bedding. Some soft music or a TV backdrop can help to muffle noises outside as well.
If your furry friend is joining the costume brigade, test out the outfit a few days ahead. Ensure its comfy and that they’re chuffed to wear it, it’s also a good idea to snap your pics of your pups costume soon after they’ve gotten into it – if it’s not a hit, they won’t want to wear it for too long!
Doorbell Dilemmas: Barking Be Gone!
A couple weeks before Halloween, ring the doorbell at random times, day and night. Reward calm reactions with treats. The consistency will reduce their urge to bark with each ring on the big night. If your pup still feels the urge to switch over to ‘intruder mode’, a puzzle toy or treat-dispensing toy can be a great distraction when trick-or-treaters are due.
Although us humans will relish in the sugary treats we reap from this night, we must make sure lollies, especially chocolate, are out of reach of your furry friend as they are toxic to dogs.
Venturing into the Night
If your dog is joining you for trick-or-treating, it is good practise to keep them on-lead. Even if you know you dog and believe they wouldn’t take off, Halloween bring all kinds of tricks and noises, so
better to keep them within arm’s reach. A reflective collar or LED light can also ensure your dog is seen amidst the ghostly goings-on.
Halloween doesn’t need to be a fright fest for our four-legged pals. With patience, positive associations, and a sprinkle of preparation, our dogs can learn that Halloween is all about fun, frolics, and the occasional fright-free treat!