As we get older and settle down, Halloween takes on a different tone. Especially if you aren’t dressing up and hitting the streets with your kids; your role in trick-or-treating reverses. Instead of collecting candy or chaperoning children, you’re tasked with handing out candy. And while this can be a fun evening, for those who own pets, the constant ringing of the doorbell can be confusing and anxiety-inducing. To help keep in the Halloween spirit, follow these tips to prep for keeping your dog’s worries at bay on the spookiest holiday of the year.
(Photo via Pixabay)
Know What’s Going on in Your Dog’s Mind
Many dogs leap to their paws, yapping with all their might when they hear a doorbell. Understandably so, it’s in their nature to be protective of their owners, and a doorbell could be the sign of an intruder. On Halloween, your dog may be confused by the number of doorbell-ringing, potential intruders.
The ASPCA explains that because of this confusion, it’s best to keep your dog in a room that does not have access to the front door, preferably one with as little noise as possible. Even the most sociable of pets can be frightened by many common Halloween costumes, and the constant opening and closing of the door could lead an anxious dog to dart. Knowing that your dog is unlikely to understand what is going on, take some more precautions to ensure that they stay safe and calm.
What To Do
Dog owners know that the rush of trick-or-treaters tends to begin around dusk. In preparation, Dog Guide recommends taking your pup out to the bathroom well in advance of this rush. The chaos arising from the throng of kids ringing your doorbell makes it more likely than usual that dogs can experience unforeseen bathroom accidents.
Nationwide Insurance adds that dog owners should keep out of reach any lit pumpkins or other decorations that could qualify as a danger to your dog, especially anything that could be a choking hazard. As mentioned, keeping a barrier between your dog and the front door at all times is a must, and Petfinder recommends that responsible owners make sure their dog is rocking an ID tag on their collar in case they do somehow get out.
When you’re ready to get your dog settled, keep your dog in a crate, a secured room (the laundry room typically suffices), or on a leash. Try to minimize other noises within your home, according to Canine Journal, as the near-constant ringing of the doorbell is more than enough stimulation.
What Not To Do
The most common, and seemingly most obvious, mistake that dog owners can make is not keeping the Halloween candy out of reach of the dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association lists Halloween candy as the top priority of health hazards on their set of tips.
While it’s unlikely that any dog owner would feed his dog candy on purpose, it is an innocent enough mistake to leave the candy bowl on a low-lying surface the dog can reach. Ensuring the candy is keptup high is perhaps the most urgent task of a dog owner on Halloween night.
If you are at home, and especially if you live on a street that tends to be home to a slew of trick-or-treating masses, the onus is on you to ensure that your dog remains calm, cool, and collected. Keep him away from the kids, get his bathroom break in early, and most importantly of all, keep his snout out of the candy bowl. Happy Halloween!