Halloween is a fun-filled night for many revelers, young and old. However, this October holiday can be a dangerous one for pets. Loud noises, the constant ringing of the doorbell, and even the malicious intent that the day brings out in some people can lead to anxiety and even danger for your dog. Tips for keeping your pet safe on Halloween are listed below.
Halloween night can be confusing and chaotic for a dog, with Trick-or-Treaters coming and going in strange costumes, a departure from the normal routine, and new decorations put up around the house. Provide your pet with extra exercise in the morning, either by hiring a dog walker or taking your pet for an extra long walk or hike yourself, so that she can be calmer and more at ease throughout the evening.
Keep Candy out of Reach
This point is especially important for families that do not normally stock candy in the house and may be forgetful that their pups can experience serious gastrointestinal distress if they accidentally consume too many sugary sweets, particularly chocolate. If children are part of the family, be sure to educate them that Halloween candy cannot be shared with dogs.
Hire a Pet Sitter
If you have plans to attend a Halloween party, consider hiring a pet sitter to keep your dog company during the night. It can be traumatizing for a pet to be home alone and have people continually knocking on the door or creating loud noises outside. A pet sitter will be able to keep your dog’s anxiety levels to a minimum.
Highly food motivated dogs can be distracted with interactive treats and toys. Fill a KONG with peanut butter or spray cheese (freeze the KONG if you want the effects to last longer), or provide your pet with a puzzle that requires her to focus on the task at hand.
For mild to moderate anxiety, some dogs can benefit from the use of calming treats. These products contain proven ingredients, such as herbs like lavender, valerian, and lemon balm; or amino acids like Tryptophan and L-Arginine. In addition to treats, diffusers are available as well which fill the air with calming scents. Another option is pheromone sprays (dog-appeasing pheromones work best) that can instill a sense of calm within your pet when sprayed on bedding.
Never Leave Pet Unattended
While this practice should be followed year-round, it is especially necessary on Halloween. Never leave your pet unattended outdoors, as there is an increase in pet fatalities due to malicious intent on Halloween night, particularly to dogs and cats with black fur. If your dog primarily lives outdoors, consider bringing her in for the night.
Crate or Safe Room during Trick or Treat
Finally, during Trick or Treat plan to have your dog in a crate or in a safe area away from the door. Even if your pet is typically well behaved, the commotion of erratic and hyperactive children coming to your doorstep can send a pet into frenzy – potentially bolting from the house.