Halloween can be a tricky time for dogs. Fireworks season is in full swing, trick or treaters are knocking at the door and more people may be passing through your home than usual. Dogs are much more sensitive to sounds and vibrations than we are, so these new noises and unfamiliar faces can make your pooch nervous. We’ve prepped 5 ways to help your dog stay happy and relaxed this spooky season; it’s a great time to teach your dog skills that will help their behaviour for life.
1. A sleepy pooch is a chilled-out pooch
Ensuring your dog is well exercised is always important and it’s helpful during stressful or exciting times. At this time of year, it’s best if you can get a nice long walk in during the early evening; to avoid fireworks. If your dog is trained to bring the ball back, playing fetch is a fun way to tire them out!
2. Prepare for trick or treaters
As with any kind of training, dogs’ brains work by association. Practice makes perfect, so invest some time to get your dog used to the doorbell ringing by doing some practice runs. If they remain calm, reward their behaviour with attention or a tasty treat to create a positive association.
Reinforce this routine when guests knock at the door/ring the bell to get your dog used to the experience; it may be handy to have a tub of treats by the door, so visitors (or trick or treaters!) can give your pooch a treat.
3. Beat the bark
Barking is natural for dogs and it’s a common reaction to a knock at the front door. With Halloween bringing more visitors, there’s a few things that may discourage your dog from reacting to new noises. Try popping the radio or television on to help mask the noise of people coming in and out; having the distraction may help your dog feel more at ease. If you’re your pooch is a foodie, dinner time could be the best time for tactics. Try using a Kong, so they’re happily distracted by food once the doorbell starts ringing.
4. Natural remedies
Natural remedies are a great way to help keep your dog happy and relaxed; herbs such as chamomile and lavender are naturally calming. There’s lots of positive customer feedback for Pooch & Mutt’s Calming Crunchies, which contain stress-busting herbs. We recommend using the treats for at least a few days before Halloween to get your dog feeling zen – they’re perfect as a bedtime treat. If your pooch is generally anxious or excitable, you might want to try Pooch & Mutt’s Calm & Relaxed grain-free food. Rich in serotonin boosting L-Tryptophan, the dry food contains natural ingredients to help keep your dog relaxed and happy. We recommend using the food as your dog’s main meal source for up to 6 weeks to see full benefits.
Spending time with your dog in stressful situations is the best way to help them feel safe and relaxed. Dogs pick up on our feelings, so if you can; get yourself relaxed and snuggle up with your pooch!
Keep 3 things in mind this spooky season: 1. Halloween = an excess of sweets and chocolate around the house and it’s very important to keep them out of paws reach. 2. With the door opening more than usual, it’s important that your dog has their collar/ ID tag on while in the house, in case they make a dash for freedom. 3. Have fun!