Dogs Halloween, surprises and spooks don’t often go well together. Caroline, our natural canine behaviourist, walks you through dogs’ needs at this time, so they feel happy and safe when the world goes Boo!
For many, Halloween is a fun-filled day (sometimes an entire weekend!) of costumes, fake blood, trick or treat, gorging on chocolate, and the odd glass of prosecco, oh, and terrifying the living daylights out of each other!
For your dogs Halloween can be a completely different story. Let’s make sure they are happy by helping them feel safe at this time of year.
Want to improve the bond you have with your dog?
6 ways to ensure your dogs halloween is a happy one
Keeping your dog happy during Halloween encompasses preparation during the year. The feeling of safety and trust is what your dog truly needs in all areas of their life.
- Solve your dogs fear barking before you get more knocks on the door – Learn more
- Walk your dogs before dark, to avoid the trick or treaters
- Ensure your dog has a safe space to retreat to – Our pack’s safe space ideas
- Keep pumpkins with lit candles away from your dog
- Store sweets and chocolate out of harm’s way
- Keep dressing up for humans
- Play calming, classical music to keep your dog calm
Solve your dogs barking when the doorbell goes
Keeping your dog happy during Halloween starts well before the actual day. Solving their alert bark at passers-by or knocks at the door happens on a daily basis.
For you to do the right thing at the right time, ensures they can rest and feel safe always. A simple acknowledgement of their bark and guide away from the door or window when people knock or walk past. Click below to learn more.
Walk your dogs before dark
Your dogs halloween will be a much happier affair if you walk them before it gets dark. It’s great to get connected on lead walks. This will mean your dog is taking more notice of you than scanning the horizon for problems and fears. If you encounter a ghoul or ghost walk your dog away. Click below to learn more about getting connected with your dog on lead –
Create a safe space for your dog to retreat to
If your dog becomes anxious and starts barking when trick-or-treaters come to the door, or if you have a Halloween party or even at hollowed-out pumpkin, make it easy for your dog to retreat to a quiet, safe space where they can relax if they choose to.
The option to get out of there (flight) is what your dog needs. Try playing calming music close to their safe space too (Heres how music can help calm a dog)
Store sweet treats away from your dog
Sweets can contain Xylitol, and chocolates contain caffeine and theobromine. Very dangerous for your dog if ingested. – our infographic about food your dog should avoid
Why not feed your dog a more natural treat this Halloween, try our rabbit ears for dogs
Keep dressing up for humans
We may enjoy dressing up on Halloween, and dressing up our dogs may look funny to you, but how does it make them feel? Some confident dogs may not mind, but do keep an eye on how your dog reacts to the costume.
Halloween dog costumes restrict movement and can stress your dog out, best to avoid them in my opinion.
Paws for Thought
Whether your furry friend is a nervous personality or not, their reactions to odd goings-on will range from subtle to very demonstrative. Your dog may show no outward signs of anxiety initially, but they will stack up over time.
One day out of the blue, they will react, be that barking, lunging/biting, or hiding away.
Give your dog space to get away from strange, one-off events. Exposing them to events that come just once a year will have far-reaching effects on behaviour throughout the year.
Please do see the related links below. They will help you understand how dogs tick, how to recognize distress, and how to help them in many situations including these festive times of the year.
Caroline’s Book is a great way to further understand your dog
- How to help your dog cope with fireworks and other loud noises
- Tips to keep your dog happy during the Christmas period