Your dog and how to get through the Halloween season
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1. Do not leave your dog outdoors over the Halloween period. Aside from the fright that they may get if fireworks go off, Halloween is a notorious time for the not so nice people in our world to steal or injure dogs. Inexcusable as their rotten behaviour is, it is preventable by keeping your pet safe indoors and on lead for walks.
2. One thing you can do in advance of the night it create a safe haven for your dog within your house. Make a cosy den, lots of blanks, a crate in you have one and their bed. In the weeks and days coming up to the night itself and make this an area where all the good things happen. Your kitchen area or utility room if you have one are great as they are usually warm and dry, an area under a bed if you do allow your dog in your bedroom, a space behind the couch in the living room, wherever you decide , this is where your dogs will get his treats and/or a delicious stuffed Kong. This is the time to really up the game in terms of stuffing that Kong. Use really uber tasty fillings, some lovely brown chicken meat with gravy mixed with your dogs regular kibble and freeze for example. This area will become you dogs “SAFE ZONE” in the house should they become afraid or anxious, so make sure that they have access to it at all times.
3. Restrict your dogs access to the door/entrance area of the house. On the night itself, you may have multiple little monsters knocking on your dog trick or treating (or for us Dubliners, Help the Halloween Party ) and the last thing that you want is you dog jumping up on someone elses child or worse bolting through the door in fright.
4. Tire you dog out before the firework begin. Walk your dog early in the day and avoid if at all possible having to bring them out when it gets dark if they are nervous of bangers and fireworks. Use games and activity feeders all day before the fireworks – get them as mentally tired as you can and this will help reduce their anxiety.
5. Depending on the level of how scared you dog is, its always an option to disconnect your doorbell, pull you curtains closed, turn up the telly and reduce the level of outside distraction. Be aware though that this will not totally block out outside festivities. Dogs as we all know have a much higher level of hearing and a phenomenal sense of smell that will alert them to stuff that we don’t even notice.
6. Natural remedies are available in most shops to help with this stressful time of year for your pet. Do call in and chat to the staff and ask what is best suited to your dog. Products such as Thundershirts can also help keep your pet calm.
7. Do not let your dog get into the Halloween goodies !!!! Sweets, nuts, chocolate, fruit, crisps are not good for your dog and some items may even be toxic. Stock up on some good quality dog treats to give them on the night and keep them occupied or stuff a Kong!
8. Open flames can singe and burn your dog so keep candles and decorations that heat up or have an open flame away from areas that you dog will be in
9. Doggie Costumes – If you feel the need to put a costume on your pet dog please be aware that many on the market can restrict the movement of your dog and can get caught be safe and aware of what you are putting on your dog at all times.
10. Some dogs who like to chase can get over excited by costumes with trailing parts. Supervise you dog around your children and they may try to play with the costumes while your children are wearing them!
Above all this weekend, please be sensible. Make sure your dog is wearing a current name tag on their collar with your contact details, in case the dog somehow manage to escape. Now is a great time to check your microchip details are up to date. Enjoy the festivities but do bear in mind your dogs welfare.