- Posted by Sharnie Ashton in Uncategorised
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Scary costumes, unfamiliar noises and out of routine activities can all pose as a threat to our dogs. Halloween costumes on both humans and other pets can hide body language which can make your dog unsure of even the most familiar family members.
Be aware of your dogs body language
Be aware of your dog’s body language when you or other people are wearing unfamiliar costumes around them. Dogs that are uncomfortable or stressed will show what is called a calming signal. A calming signal could include a paw lift, yawn, lip lick or a turn away. Failure to notice these signals could lead to more recognisable signs such as growling or snapping. If your dog shows any of these signals, take action to make them more comfortable.
Be mindful of people knocking on the door
Constant knocking on the door and getting up and down to answer the door can also be stressful if your dog is routine led. Very often we sit down and relax at a certain time in the evening. Dogs will pick up on this and interruptions in this routine can make your dog unsettled. It is a good idea to get your dog out of a predictable routine, especially leading up to the busier times of year. If this isn’t practical create a sign politely saying ‘please don’t knock’.
Keep sweets and chocolate out of reach
Be proactive and keep all sweets and chocolate out of reach. Contact your vet immediately if your dog accidentally consumes any.
Never tell a dog off if they have managed to get hold of the sweets. It is often us that has managed the situation poorly by not keeping the sweets in a safe place.
Provide a safe place
This will give them somewhere to go to if they become worried. Never disturb a dog in their safe place.
Provide enrichment that can keep them busy during the spooky festivities. Halloween can cause arousal, fear or excitement and mental stimulation is great for lowering all of these. Enrichment toys are also a good replacement for their daily walk. Try something like a Dog Comets Treat Locker.
Try a natural calming remedy
Try incorporating a natural remedy into your management plan to help them cope. Valerian root is widely used in herbal remedies for its positive interaction with the brain and the calming effect on the body. BB Herbal anxiety drops and Phytopet calm both contain Valerian to naturally calm during stressful situations.