As the dark nights creep in, we can start to get excited for our favourite autumn holiday – Halloween! But what about our dogs?
Firstly it’s important to recognise that Halloween can be scary for our four-legged friends, all the knocking at the door, strange costumes, and change in routine can be a little overwhelming for them. Some dogs may react by barking or hiding but there’s no need to worry, as long as you’re prepared!
In this week’s blog, we look at our top ways for keeping your dog calm and safe this Halloween because you know they're too cute to spook!
What To Do with Dogs On Halloween
1. Wear them out with walkies
Make sure your dog has had plenty of exercise in the day, making sure they are tired will help to keep them calmer in the evening. You could try a new place to walk or a longer walk than normal to help wear them out!
Enrichment activities such as the Nina Ottoson puzzles are also great for wearing them out mentally too!
2. Door Distraction
Keep your dog away from the door – if your dog is reactive when the doorbell goes or loves to escape try keeping them secure in a room away from the door. This will hopefully help to dampen the noise of any trick-or-treaters as well as stop them from getting out. Our wooden pet gates and pens are perfect if you want to separate living spaces.
We also recommend putting the TV or Radio on to help mask the noise from outside!
3. How To Stop The Dog Barking At The Door
Before Halloween try to de-sensitise your dog from the door if you know they are reactive to the doorbell. Go outside and ring the doorbell, if your dog stays calm reward them with a treat and if they react try reassuring them!
4. Keep away from the candy
Sweets and chocolate are dangerous for our four-legged friends, explain to everyone in your home (especially children) the danger of feeding sweet treats to your dogs before the excitement of trick-or-treaters arrives! Why not treat your dog to some of the BonBon Pooch Halloween treats so they can join in on the fun?
If your dog shows any of the following symptoms contact your vet as they may have eaten some sweets or chocolate
- Increased heart rate
5. Costume Comfortable
Costumes can be super distressing for your dogs, masks and face paint can hide facial expressions which can cause nervousness. Giving your dog time to sniff and investigate any costumes you or your household are wearing can help familiarise them. Put any masks on in front of them so they know it’s you and take them off if your dog seems distressed by them.
6. Collar and Tag Check
In case the worst happens and your dog manages to escape it’s a good idea to keep them wearing their collar with their ID tag on so they can be returned to you as quickly as possible. Check before Halloween that their ID tag and microchip are up to date!
Where To Take Your Dog On Halloween
Generally, we wouldn’t recommend leaving your dog home alone on Halloween – the loud noises and frequent knocking on the door may make them stressed, especially if they’re on their own. If you’re going to be out why not ask a friend or family member to watch them so they’re on hand if your precious pooch needs comforting?
If you want to get your dog involved in the Halloween fun why not try taking them to a dog-friendly pumpkin patch earlier in the spooky season? This can make for a super fun family day out and you’ll be sure to get some insta-worthy pictures of your pup.
How To Keep Your Dog Calm On Halloween
The above tips aren’t one size fits all and it may take a few noisy holidays like Halloween and Bonfire night to figure out what works for them.
If your dog does become anxious or stressed, make sure to provide them with lots of reassurance and create a safe place for them to burrow in – dogs go back to their natural instincts when anxious and want to hide in their dens! Also making sure there are plenty of toys and activities for them so you can try to redirect their attention to something else can help to keep them calm.
If your dog gets anxious why not try our calming range? We have anti-anxiety faux fur donut beds, these are designed to cocoon your dog and make them feel super safe and cosy! We also have a range of calming remedies from Pet remedy, their all-in-one kit contains a diffuser, spray, and wipes all with calming scents and essential oils in