How To Keep Your Dogs Safe On Halloween

pumpkins and fidoA few weeks ago, we did an early post about how dogs experience halloween. Now we think it’s time to bring up the security aspect of this holiday, and how to prevent our pets from becoming scared of the action, or from associating it with something negative. This kind of celebration is not something we see everyday, and can sometimes be a handful, even for us humans. But we know and understand why all these strange things are happening, while our pets probably doesn’t. In some cases, the best idea might be to not get our dogs involved in the festivities. The reasons and rationale can be found in this article:

Prevention on Halloween

Halloween offers a very specific opportunity to protect your dog with a commitment to preventing trouble. However dear trick-or-treaters may be to many humans, few dogs feel the same way. Having a tree, a storm trooper or a fully functioning traffic light at your door may prompt you to say, “My, how clever,” but most dogs react in a more, “Ye gads, what is that thing?!” kind of way. Between the doorbell and the monsters (literally!) at the door, the night is far more trick-y than treat-y for most of our beloved canines. Many of them react with fear, excessive exuberance or even aggression.

Since this holiday happens only once a year, it’s hard to give dogs practice with the situations unique to it. It’s true that handling the horrors of Halloween can be step 100 in a program to teach dogs to be able to cope with anything, but most dogs are somewhere between step 20 and step 50. Jumping up too far in the process can be damaging to dogs and actually set them back. I do hate to sound defeatist, but unless your dog is experienced all the way up through step 99, I’m in favor of avoidance for so many dogs who struggle with this holiday.

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So there’s the option of just avoiding the activities on Halloween with your dog. This alternative could be made cozy and relaxing by watching a movie together, dog steps for bed would let him join when he feels like it. But if you do want to include your pet in the celebrations, there are some things that should be taken into consideration, to make it easier for your little friend:

5 Ways To Keep Halloween From Getting Too Scary For Your Dog

Fall is quickly approaching. We can smell the pumpkin spice lattes already. With every new season, it’s time to evaluate safety concerns for your pooch, especially regarding the holidays. Howloween is meant to offer a fright, but not to unsuspecting Fido. If you’re celebrating the holiday by inviting trick-or-treaters to your door, follow these tips to train your dogs to be ready for the night.

1. Doorbells or knocks

Your dog is probably used to the doorbell ringing or guests coming over, but probably not to the degree it will happen on Halloween. Have someone ring your doorbell and practice sit and stay while you answer it. Increase the amount of times you do this a day leading up to Halloween.

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Training your dog to better handle the events on Halloween can definitely be time well spent. But just like us humans, pets also have their own personalities, and some might actually enjoy celebrations like this, some others accept it, and some doesn’t like it at all. Sometimes we can relate to how they feel, like in this article by Patricia McConnell:

Halloween Costumes for Dogs?

I have to be honest about dressing up our pets: I’m not a fan. Perhaps my feelings are influenced by my own experience being dressed up as at the age of five as a housefly, complete with huge wings that made it impossible to move and a mask that I couldn’t see through. My mother spent weeks creating it (it was brilliantly done if I remember correctly, she was a great seamstress). I was, however, frightened and claustrophobic. It is one of my worst and earliest memories.

Okay, granted, I’m a wuss. But what about the family Labrador dressed up like Batman? Or the Persian house cat dressed up as a mouse? Are they having as much fun as their owners? I suspect that many are not. On the other hand, I have to admit, after a brief period of time, Willie ignored his costume and was perfectly happy to play ball while wearing it. Here he is looking quite perky. Relatives of mine have one cat that seems to enjoy being dressed up, and one who clearly goes into shock about it. So, I’m trying to have a open mind about it here… help me out. What do you think? Have you ever dressed up your dog or cat? If so, how did your pet behave? Did you pay careful attention to their response? Any good dog or cat costume stories?

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You should now have some ideas about how to help your dog through Halloween and how to make this celebration as enjoyable as possible for your four legged friend. Even though the theme of the evening is scary, the feelings associated with it can be completely different.

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