Struggling to keep your dog stress-free this Halloween? Here are some tips to help

Halloween is one of the most loved seasons in the USA. Kids and adults alike wear costumes, attend parties, and indulge in the time-honored tradition of trick-or-treating. Humans anticipate the Halloween season and know what to expect and how to enjoy it. 

On the other hand, our pet dogs cannot comprehend the sudden shift in routine and often get scared and stressed by the noises of trick-or-treating and ringing of house bells.

Due to the barrage of noises and unknown visitors, dogs get uncomfortable. Halloween is as stressful for dogs as the 4th of July. Some dogs are prone to noise anxiety while others get nervous by seeing people in scary costumes that their minds cannot comprehend. 

If your dog gets uncomfortable and anxious around Halloween, there are a number of things you can do to help them get through the season stress-free. Read these wonderful tips brought to you by Autumn Trails Veterinary Center located in Charlottesville, VA.

Positive Conditioning

  • One of the ways of dealing with noise anxiety in dogs is by exposing them to the sounds of knocking and doorbells before Halloween. Mimic a typical real-life Halloween situation and condition your dog to be positively receptive to it. 

If your dog starts to believe that frequent ringing of the doorbell is normal and creates a positive association with it, then he will not be jarred by the barrage of noise around Halloween.

Put on A Pressure Wrap

  • Use a ThunderShirt as a pressure wrap around Halloween. A pressure wrap is like a swaddle blanket for infants. It is put around the dog’s main body. It acts as a comforter and relieves the dog from feelings of fear and discomfort. 

The Pressure Wrap makes use of acupressure and exerts balanced and gentle pressure on the dog. The pressure acts as a stress reliever and reduces hyperactivity, fear, anxiety, shyness, and insecurity in dogs.  Your dog is less likely to suffer from anxiety pangs around Halloween with a pressure wrap to comfort it.

Classical Music to The Rescue

  • A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior at Colorado State University revealed the effects of different genres of music on dogs. Classical music produced soothing effects on dogs. Dogs that were exposed to classical music had better and longer sleeping times and were more at peace.

Whereas, dogs that were exposed to heavy metal music experienced shaking in the body and displayed signs of nervousness. 

To calm down your dog on the eve of Halloween, place him in a faraway room and play some Beethoven or Mozart. This will have dual benefits:

  • The soothing music will drown the noises of trick-or-treating and doorbells. Your pup will remain blissfully ignorant of all the noise around.
  • Classical music will keep him calm and his nervous energy in control.

keep your dog stress-free this halloween

Take Your Dog for A Run

Getting your dog some exercise before Halloween is a good way to get rid of his nervous energy and for him to be more at peace. Take your dog for a run before the Halloween festivities start. The run will drain out his energy and allow your dog to rest better in a secluded room on the eve of Halloween. 

  • Exercise produces serotonin which is a feel-good chemical. Hence your dog will be much at peace on Halloween after a good exercise session.

Be Mindful of Your Costume

  • Your dog will not recognize in your costume and will treat you as a stranger. He might get defensive around you. To avoid that, get your dog accustomed to your costume. The best way to do that is to wear your costume in front of your dog. 

Put your face mask at the end. This way your dog will know that it’s still you beneath the strange exterior.