I love Halloween! The spooky music being played outside homes. Inflatable ghosts and spiders standing tall and moving with the wind. Kids dressed in their favorite costume screaming and running with excitement to the next home to collect their candy.
I really enjoy this scene. It reminds me of being a kid with an imagination of being whatever we wanted to be which makes it fun for us, kids and adults alike. Costumes can make us look totally different. I could be a princess, a witch, or even a zombie. No one would recognize me then!
However, fun this holiday is for us, it may not be fun for our dogs. Keep in mind, dogs do not understand these changes in our appearance and can make even the best dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened in their surroundings. They may recognize our voice but we have changed. We may walk a bit differently, wear a mask, have a tail, wear a cape or carry a sword. This is not normal in our dog’s everyday world. Every child and every costume is a new opportunity for a different reaction from the same dog.
Guidelines for keeping your dog safe and comfortable at home during Trick or Treat Hour
- Have you dog stay in a room he enjoys being in. Play the radio or tv to drown the outside noise.
- Freeze a Kong with some of their kibble along with bananas and applesauce and give it to your dog just before trick or treating starts. A Kong with peanut butter works just as well if you did not have an opportunity to freeze one. This will keep them busy while the activities are going on.
- Close the blinds on the windows. Your dog may get anxious seeing people coming and going by the window.
- Disable the doorbell.
And remember one piece of candy for them and two for you!
Guidelines for Trick or Treating with your Dog
- Be sure to give your dog plenty of space if you decide to bring your dog trick or treating with your kids.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable in his costume if you are going to dress him up. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing or eyesight.
- Bring treats and reward your dog for good behavior along the way
- Be your dog’s advocate. There may be children that may want to pet or touch your dog. This interaction may not be in your dog’s best interest. Don’t be afraid to say that your dog would just rather watch them trick or treat then to be petted by them.
If you are trick or treating with your children, the trick is to sneak as much chocolate out of their sacks as long as you don’t get caught.
Trick or Treat
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!