Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween & Hounds! "TREAT N TREAT"

Halloween is one of the most fun Holidays for children everywhere.  Candy, costumes and creepy crawlers are all the ingredients to make this a great and fun memory for kids. 
As you and your family prepare for this fun night, consider your 4 legged friends and how this one evening could leave a lasting and possibly damaging impression on them.
Think about the following:

Dogs rely on body language and predictable human behavior:
Are kids in costumes predictable?  NO, in fact most kids go out of their way to get a reaction from anyone or anything when they dress up.    
***Respect your dog by not expecting them to interact with kids in disguise.  Many dogs do not even recognize their own family members when an appearance is changed.  This can lead to a fearful response."

Do you like it when your dog barks wildly at your front door?
One of the biggest complaints of clients is that their dog goes NUTS around the front door.  It is amazing how even one night can impact the behavior of our dogs.  Door bell reactivity and excitement is frustrating to deal with especially with multiple dogs.  Prevent your dog from practicing this unwanted behavior on Halloween night with the following tips.
1.  Allow your dog a nice quiet and calm place with a yummy frozen goodie or bone.  
2.  Add white noise to this "den" area and replenish the treats when needed.
3.  If your dog is calm and behaves well at the sure to reward this behavior.  KEEP IN MIND that costumes can startled even the mellowist dogs.
4.  Put pumpkins at the end of your driveway with a bowl of candy so the kids do not come to your door.  Leave lights off on porch.
5.  Disconnect your doorbell for the night.
Tails of a puller, mugger and barker?
Does your dog pull on leash?  Does he grab other peoples goodies?  Is he easily triggered to bark?  If so then this is not the time to walk your dog.  Trick or treating night is busy, loud and there are goodies everywhere!  Please consider your dog before deciding to bring him along on Halloween!  Dogs often do better at home.  Darkness makes seeing difficult and this can make even calm and tolerant dogs feel a bit uneasy.  Darkness and costumes running around....heck it makes me uneasy!  Dogs also may be overly excited about the opportunities they smell in kids bags!  Chocolate and other goodies are not safe or healthy for dogs.  
Consider leaving your dog at home and follow the above steps to help him feel safe and secure.  NEVER leave your dog or cat outside on halloween night.  This is unsafe!  There are many sad stories of family companions who are injured or stolen on these nights.

i love Halloween and all that is involved but....I also know from my animal control friends that this holiday is very stressful for our dogs.  We need to consider what is safe and comfortable for our companions so that they can be safe, secure and successful on these Human Holidays!

So, make this a "treat N treat" for your dogs this Halloween!

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