Did you know that Halloween is one of the most stressful nights for your pet after the Fourth of July? With a nearly endless stream of kids coming to the door, candy all around, and many spooky costumes, Halloween is filled with fun, comradery, and one heck of a sugar rush. So with this type of heightened energy in the home, this can have some adverse effects on your furry friend. Your dog can start to feel very anxious, especially if they are already prone to noise anxiety. If your pup isn’t a fan of Halloween because of all the scary and loud noises, here are a few steps you can take to reduce their anxiety.
Security: Keep your pet in a secure, comfortable room as far from the door as possible. Make the space cozy, warm and even play some soothing music for them to relax. This should help reduce anxiety and consistent barking to keep the mood of the household spook-tacular. Make sure to also check on your pet frequently and allow them to take potty breaks as needed.
Noise: Television, white noise, and soothing music are all ways to help drown out the noise of trick-or-treaters or any party guests you may have over. Turn up the volume loud enough to help them relax and focus on it, but not loud enough to trigger their noise anxiety if they are prone to it.
Inform your Guests: If you plan on having a “Monster Mash” of your own, let your guests know about your pet. Inform your party goers where your pet is and to leave them be during the time they are over. People might be rather excited to see your furry friend, but lets’ imagine how they might react when Dracula or a zombie burst into the room to pet them. Ask you guests that if they must go near the room (ie. to use the restroom or make a phone call) to keep the noise level down near that area.
Training: This is a more time consuming effort, but can have lasting effects even after the fright-filled night is over. If you have the time, use training treats and exposure techniques to help train your dog’s anxiety. Steadily expose them to the sound of knocking and your doorbell, and create positive associations with those sounds. Over time, this could reduce the fear and anxiety on Halloween. Be mindful this does take time and regular practice!
Exercise: Before the action starts. Take your dog on a long walk or play with them in the yard. Tiring your dog out with help them rest easier or even sleep through the louder noises of the night! Exercise also releases serotonin, the same chemical that’s gives you the feeling of happiness after a workout. This will help eliminate some of the nervous feelings and senses of fear.
Medication: If you have tried these tricks in previous years but nothing seems to work, maybe taking a trip to your local Witch Doctor will help. Or your local veterinarian works too…whichever you decide. Your vet might recommend some medication for you to administer to your pet to help calm their nerves. Make sure that before you administer the medication, research any and all risks and side effects of it as well. Medication may not be right for every dog, or owner, but it can definitely help others.
Boarding: If you simply feel your pet needs a safe and loving environment for Halloween night, other than your home, Wagsworth Manor is here to help! We offer a luxurious and calming overnight boarding service that allows your furry friend to be treated to a restful night of sleep at their new home away from home. You can party the night away, take the kids trick-or-treating, or simply put on a scary movie and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids, peacefully, knowing your pet is being cared for.
Many of us love the frights and fun Halloween brings, but remember to keep in mind how your furry friend can react to it. They do not understand what is going on around them and we should try our best effort to help them through the night, peacefully. We hope these tips and tricks help you help your pet through the night and if you know anyone who might find this information useful, feel free to share it with them!
Wishing everyone a happy and spooky Howl-O-Ween!