Although tonight is going to be a fun night for most of the kiddos, for many dogs it’s going to involve a lot more stress. People moving around in strange looking costumes, non-stop strangers at the door and, the most dreaded of all, fireworks throughout the night.
1) Confining them in a back room of your house while the trick or treaters are out, with the TV on and something fantastic to chew or play with, or do some training games with them, like teaching them a new trick or practising things they already know.
For interactive toys, I like stuffed Kong’s and other treat dispensing toys like the Tricky Treat Ball. It’s preferable if someone can hang out back there with them to keep them engaged (if they’re stressed) or regularly reward them for calmness every time someone comes to the door or a firework goes off and they don’t react.
2) Even if you don’t *think* your dog is afraid of fireworks, take your dog outside on leash for bathroom breaks – even if you have a securely fenced yard. Many owners have learned the hard way how easy it is for their dog to spook and bolt, yes, even under or over a solid fence or through a door or gate that was only open for a moment. Fear makes the mind and body do crazy things.
3) If your dog gets particularly freaked out by fireworks, invest in a Thundershirt and talk to your vet about getting a prescription for meds to keep on hand that can be used on nights such as this to help alleviate some of his or her fear short term.
Enjoy a fun and safe evening with your dogs tonight!
Until next time,
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