Halloween is a spooky time for dogs with noise and stranger anxiety. Here are some tips for dog owners to help deal with the stress of trick-or-treaters this holiday.
Keep The Dog In A Secure Place
Your dog should stay locked in a secure, comfortable room where he can lie down and relax. This room should be as far from the door as possible to reduce the noise from trick-or-treaters and the sound of the door opening and closing. Make sure to check on your pup frequently and take him out for potty breaks.
Put On Music
You should place a radio or television in your dog’s room and turn the volume to a level that will help drown out the noise. Put on something soothing that won’t startle your pup and trigger his noise anxiety.
It will take some time, but you can use certain exposure techniques to treat your dog’s anxiety. Steadily exposing him to the sound of knocking and doorbells and creating positive associations with these sounds over time will help reduce the fear on Halloween. This takes a lot of practice and hard work, so don’t expect your dog to just be fine over night.
Take your dog for a long walk before the action starts. Tiring your dog out will help him rest easier and maybe even sleep through some of the anxiety-causing noises. Exercise also stimulates the production of serotonin, the same chemical that makes you feel good after a workout. This will help reduce fearful reactions and eliminate some of that nervous energy.
Always remember that your dog looks to you for guidance in strange situations. Don’t react too strongly to the dog’s negative responses to noises. Calmly be there for your dog and give low-energy reassurances to your pet. If giving out candy is too much for your dog to handle consider putting it off this year until your dog is more comfortable.