How to prepare your dog for Halloween
Halloween can be a scary time for our dogs. Many children and adults enjoy dressing their dogs up in costumes, but some pups are not at all comfortable with this idea.
It’s a good idea not force your dog to participate in anything that goes against his or her sense of well-being. It’s also wise to keep some dogs away from the front door on Halloween night. Remember that candy, especially chocolates, can be deadly for dogs.
Halloween is also a good time to help your dogs to understand strange looking objects. Many dogs are afraid or uncomfortable when seeing yard decorations such as a ghost hanging from a tree.
Try to always make positive associations for your pups with anything that is loud, big, new or scary. Work with the concerns listed below during the day before you attempt a walk on Oct. 31.
- Move away from the object until the dog is comfortable with it. You need enough distance so the dog will respond to his name. Say his name and give him a treat when he looks at you. This is a great way to distract a dog and also teaches him that good things happen when he looks at you.
- Begin giving tiny, yummy treats as you and your dog slowly move toward the object.
- Do not be predictable. Take a few steps to the left or right, or perhaps even go back the other direction. When you continue to move closer and closer to the object it can add a degree of stress to the situation. By changing directions once in a while, the dog has something else to concentrate on.
- Stop moving forward if the dog shows any sign of concern.
- This is also a good strategy on trash day when you see something strange on the curb.
It may take a day, a week or longer to accomplish your objective, so plan to be patient!