Halloween kicks off the holiday season, breaking ten months of peaceful calm and quiet. How your dog handles the holidays is mostly an inborn quality. You know your dog better than anyone else, so you know how they will react to changes in their routine. They will either love Halloween or hate Halloween.
Halloween lovers are easy, but their lack of fear may cause them to be too curious and stick their nose in places that could harm them. Most Halloween decorations are powered electrically and leaving your dog alone with access to new extension cords laying around could be an invitation to sniff with a wet nose, or chomp.
Halloween haters may be scared by all the different sights and sounds but can become desensitized by going on intentional walks in the neighborhood to see the wonders your neighbors have created. Try starting off with daytime strolls past the new decorations. Since dogs have better daytime vision, and most outdoor Halloween displays are off until night approaches, they might not seem as threatening. Your dog will feel safe with its human and, with some encouragement, may step out of its comfort zone briefly. Repetition is the key so do it every day and see how your dog evolves. If they are very nervous, try using treats to reward them for calmly walking past a yard prop, or going up to sniff something new.
And, it needs to be said, candy, chocolate, raisins, pumpkin spice are no-no’s for your dog. But, non-spiced pumpkin, apples and most nuts in moderation are good for your dog.
Halloween is intended to be good natured scariness, and we humans learn this early in life. Remember, dogs have seven years to our one, so stirring things up with ghosts and goblins occurs less often in their lifetime making it more significant, good or bad. The more your dog, and us humans for that matter, explore and experience, the more the world opens up and shows us that it’s not such a scary place after all.
Happy Halloween everybody.