Adults and children alike look forward to the fireworks and excitement at this time of year, but we sometimes forget that a lot of animals find it distressing. With a bit of preparation, you can reduce this stress drastically, and these tips on how to look after dogs at Halloween will really help.
Many dogs suffer terrible anxiety as a result of loud noise and flashing lights. Some animals are so traumatised that they still don’t want to go out the next morning – and in some areas fireworks can go on for days at a time, leading to a nervous pooch who needs some reassurance.
Carings for Dogs at Halloween
Start by Calming Your Dog
You can begin making things easier for your furry-nosed friend a few weeks before the event. That’s when many animal lovers start with a Bach flower treatment or insert a plug into the mains socket which gives out pheromones. These can have the effect of alleviating the stress, so a plug should really be fitted two weeks before the firework evening, to allow its effect to unfold fully.
You can also give food supplements which will strengthen the animal’s nerves.
Get Them Used to Noises
You can help allay a bit of the panic over loud bangs using a noise CD. Play the firework CD very, very quietly at first. Reward your dog for calm behaviour and increase the volume bit by bit.
This way the creature gains confidence and takes it on board that nothing happens despite all the detonations.
Keep Your Dog Inside
As the turn of the year approaches, dog owners should make sure their free-roaming friend stays inside, instead of cruising around outside where it might run get startled and injure itself when the fireworks kick off.
Ideally, you should also bring doggie inside during the daytime. If a big one goes off really close by, the dog can also run off in shock, so they are safer in the house.
Skip the Costumes
Dogs at Halloween may seem like a recipe for cute Insta pics, but as cute as it may seem to pick up a costume for your pooch, many dogs don’t love the experience.
If you do decide to dress him up, keep an eye out for telling behaviour. If your dog is reluctant, quiet, or pawing to get the costume or accessories off, remove it straight away.
We have a frightfully fun checklist of 50 Halloween activities for Kids that you can download and work your way through!
Make Things Easier for Fido
On the evening itself:
- Create a safe refuge for your dog by drawing the curtains. Many animals are even afraid of the flashing lights! The animal will feel more secure in the semi-darkness.
- You can put on some music or switch on the television so that the noises from outside can’t be heard so easily.
- You can also help your pet through your own confident behaviour: look self-assured and relaxed and Fido will sense that everything’s okay, despite the loud bangs.
- Don’t under any circumstances comfort a trembling animal by talking soothingly to it and stroking it sympathetically, that just reinforces the panic.
- Allow your pet to sit by you.
- Animals who suffer full-on panic attacks on Halloween can also be given tranquillisers. But beware: only use medication which your vet has given you for your pet. Animals can react to human tranquillisers in a highly agitated manner. So discuss the use of medication with your vet in good time so that your pet can also have a happy Halloween.