Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year.
It distills everything that a holiday should be – fun silly enjoyment with chocolate!
Halloween also happens to be the day we adopted Boo, but that’s another story.
The air is crisp and kids are running around acting and dressed strangely.
There are knocks on your door constantly and there’s food being handed out from bowls that are probably at dog height.
Halloween activities are all great fun for us, but can you think of a combination of things that could put a dog more on-edge? (Unless, of course, you added firecrackers into the mix?)
One of the reason we like holidays so much is that they are departure from the norm of everyday life. We do different things. We adopt different schedules. In a word, things are different. For a large number of dogs an unexpected change in routine is like fingernails on a blackboard and can set off a spiral of stress-related, unhealthy behaviors.
Where to put the Chocolate?
The bowl of mostly chocolate should be up and away from the dog. Your dog should not be able to reach it by jumping or putting his paws up, or knocking it over.
What about all the knocking strangers in weird costumes at the door?
Your dog doesn’t need to be right by the door. Have your dog in another room as far from the door as possible. Give your dog a stuffed kong or other puzzle toy so he/she is happily occupied. A stuffed bone, or goat horn would be good too.
I have written a number of blog posts on anxiety aids and have a number of products that can help in the Boo-tique.
If none of the anxiety aids or toys helps reduce your dog’s stress, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe some anti-anxiety medication.
Then it will be time to call a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and/or a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant so that next year your dog can have a