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For the last 2 weeks we have been inundated with emails and phone calls from people looking for tips and help for their dogs due to the fireworks being let off around the place in the lead up to Halloween night. So to try and help out as many as we can here are our top 5 tips to help your dog on the big night next Saturday.
1. Think of a happy place – OK put yourself into your dogs situation for a minute. Normally of a dark Autumn evening you are taken for a walk, maybe sniffing around some crunchy leaves and chasing with some doggy friends at the park, followed by a nice treat at home in front of the TV with your family all pretending that it was you who just farted while they watch some people get ritually humiliated on some talent show. NOW, that has all changed for reasons you don’t know or understand Armageddon has begun and no one seems to care! Sounds a little dramatic??? Well maybe but you get the idea. Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than we humans have, so the sounds of bangers and the whizzes of fireworks along with the unexpected flashes of lights outside the windows all have the ability to unsettle even the calmest dog. So for the week that’s in it, prepare a “den” for your dog that they can go to and feel safe. Pick a room or area of the house that is away from the traffic of people coming or going, prepare their bed or crate with soft bedding, a frozen Kong, leave the lights on, the blinds or curtains closed and a radio playing softly to help drone out the noise outside. For myself with a multi dog household, the utility room works amazing well for this purpose.. I leave the tumble dryer on so the area is nice and warm, soft classical music on the CD player and their treats are only given in here for the lead up to the 31st.
2. Management matters – Regardless of weather your share your home with little people (kids) invest in a baby gate to limit access to the front door of your home. It’s the one night of the year that you are practically guaranteed the door bell will keep going off especially if you live in a housing estate. Little monsters while so cute trick or treating also mean open doorways and scary costumes so as a precaution make sure that your dog cant bolt out the door. Another option is to disconnect your dog bell for the evening and just leave some treats in a basket at the door for the kids with a note on your door asking people not to knock.
3. Little Ghouls and Witches – The costumes that are available for children now have moved on so much from when I was a chissler and ran around in a black bag with a witches hat made from newspapers and a black marker ( yes I am 102 ! ) If you have kids be prepared for your dog to be a little perplexed or even scared of kids dressed as Chewbacca or Elsa from Frozen as this is completely new to them. If you have young children in the house introduce them in costume to your dog in stages. Keep a pot of dog treats nearby and with your supervision let the children ask for a sit and treat. Remember dogs can get excited when they see items waving in front of them so fake tails and steams of material may seem like a toy for them to play with. Talk to your children and have them pretend to be a tree and stand still if the dogs starts trying to play with their costume and remember you always have to be the adult and supervise all interactions with your family dog and kids,
4. I want CANDY ! – Yep and so will your dog, and its bad for them so keep humans treat well out of their way or you could end up taking an expensive and worrying trip to the vets!
5. Don’t dress up the dog – In the main,the majority dogs do not enjoy being dressed up in costumes. It makes them anxious, stressed & uncomfortable all on a night when they could possible already be feeling anxious, stressed and uncomfortable. If you really want to get your dog into the party mood prepare a yummy frozen Kong for them to enjoy while you are helping the Halloween party. If you are bring the children out and about, leave the dog at home this time.
Walk your dog early in the day, make sure they have had the opportunity to not only be physically exercised but mentally stimulated, make sure all exits from your home and garden are secure so they cannot bolt or escape should they get a sudden fright, make sure they are wearing current id tag in their collar and that their microchip details are up to date should the worst happen and they do get out of the house, be patient and kind with your pet always but especially at this time of year.
If you need any additional advise, do not hesitate to contact us here at Positive Dog Training on 01 9013018 or email@example.com