Summer has officially come to an end and today is the 3rd day of October. This means pumpkin-spiced lattes are available again, the colors of leaves are changing, and the temperatures are cooling. Along with this seasonal change comes the fall festivities, with the biggest one being Halloween night! Every year, thousands look forward to this one night of the year where we all get to dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat for yummy treats! And while we as humans enjoy this holiday, sometimes, our pets – dogs especially – do not.
While some dogs are unbothered by who's at their house, the constant ringing of the doorbell and strangers coming and going can be very stressful for other dogs, especially if they're taught to protect their homes. In this article, we're going to give you some tips to help keep your dog calm on Halloween night so that you, and your dog, can enjoy all the trick-or-treaters.
TIP 1: Take your dog for some extra exercise
Before the sun goes down and trick-or-treaters come out, take your dog on a walk or jog with you for some extra exercise. If your dog is used to an evening walk, take an extra lap or two around the neighborhood to tire him or her out. Getting in some extra exercise on Halloween night will tire out your dog, and he or she could end up sleeping peacefully through the night!
TIP 2: Make dinnertime early
After your dog has had some exercise, feed him earlier than normal. The last thing you want is your dog trying to eat while stressed and ending up with an upset stomach or mess on your floor.
TIP 3: Secure your dog and try to keep him away from the door
If your dog is known to charge the door when someone knocks or rings the doorbell, try containing your dog in a room that's away from the front door with a TV on louder than usual. If your dog is kennel trained, consider putting him in his kennel for the night with a comfort blanket or toy. Dogs are natural denning creatures and plastic kennels are designed to cater to your dog's denning instincts. When dogs are stressed or anxious, they look for a place to retreat to where they feel safe and secure. If your dog isn't kennel trained, Halloween night is NOT the night to start. However, you may want to consider kennel training your dog in the future, so that in situations like these, your dog has a place to retreat to where he or she will feel comfortable.
TIP 4: Keep your dog distracted with chew toys and puzzle toys
When dogs are stressed, chewing can be a way to help relieve that stress. Before Halloween night, order some durable chew toys to give your dog on Halloween night. Not sure which dog toys are the most durable? At Petmate, our most durable chew toys are Pet Qwerks nylon bones. Available in a wide assortment of flavors and sizes, our Pet Qwerks nylon dog bones are made in the USA and are designed for aggressive chewers. As your dog chews, the grooves and textures of the bones massages your dog's gums and helps clean plaque from their teeth.
If your dog is not a big chewer, but enjoys playing with toys, stock up on some puzzle dog toys to keep your dog distracted. Puzzle Dog Toys are dog toys that dispense treats as your dog plays with the toy. Like humans, dogs need to be mentally challenged, and puzzle toys are a great way to do this as they make dogs "work" for their treats.
Not sure where to find puzzle dog toys? At Petmate, our JW Pet brand specializes in puzzle toys for dogs. The JW Twist-In Treats, for example, is a puzzle toy where pet-parents twist the treat into the toy. The deeper they twist the treat in, the harder of a challenge it is for the dog to get out. Dogs who are chew and treat motivated would love this toy. Another popular puzzle toy option is the JW Tumble Teez Dog Toy. This puzzle toy let's pet-parents drop small treats or kibble into the top of the toy. As your dog nudges the toy with her paws or nose, the treats work their way through an internal maze. Once through the maze, the treats dispense at the bottom for your dog to enjoy. Check out these toys and more in our Treat Toys section!
TIP 5: Leave your dog inside and you go outside
If you know your dog gets stressed or protective if someone is at your door, consider leaving your dog inside and you sit outside on your porch or driveway and hand out candy. Doing so will stop your doorbell from constantly ringing and stressing your dog out. Be sure to leave a TV on inside to help keep your dog distracted.
Dogs are protective creatures and like to know who's coming and going. The constant ringing of the doorbell and strangers at your door can be very stressful for dogs who aren't used to high foot traffic. By following these tips and preparing ahead of time, you and your dog will be able to enjoy Halloween night a little more.