Having Happy Hounds This Halloween
Halloween can be great fun for both humans and hounds, it is my favourite day of the year, but it does need some preparation in order to make it happy for everyone.
First of all please consider carefully before going out to purchase a costume for your dog whether they will actually be comfortable in it, whether you have time to introduce it slowly and positively and whether it is safe.
Dog's mask pain and discomfort very well and so it is very important to consider whether it is really necessary for your dog to wear a costume too. Maybe a bandanna or different themed collar would be enough?
If you are adamant that your dog should also get dressed up them introduce the different parts of the costume slowly. Clicker training or the Bucket Game can greatly help, when introducing a new item.
Trick or Treat
There will be lots of knocks on your door or door bell ringing on Halloween so if your dog already barks at the door it would be a great time to teach your dog to go to bed on the noise of the doorbell. Or you can put a sign up on your door asking Trick or Treaters to knock quietly instead of using the doorbell.
DO NOT take your dog out with you and your family Trick or Treating! Seeing humans in very strange costumes, shrieking and generally trying to scare each other is not a good environment to put your dog in.
Chocolate and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol can be fatal to dogs, so make sure all sweets are kept well out of reach of exploratory hounds. Do not leave your dog unsupervised where sweets are left and if you suspect your dog has eaten any chocolate or sweets call your vet immediately as it can lead to liver failure.
Decorations can become choking hazards or could become an obstruction in your dog's bowel, be careful where you put them up and keep them out of your dog's reach.
If you are planning on having a Halloween Party make sure you dog has a safe place to go where it is quiet so that they don't get scared by the strange costumes, sounds etc make sure to put signs up saying no entry to the room, leave toys, boredom busting treats, put calming music on and water in there so your dog can relax in peace. Make sure to check on him regularly.