Blog by Irene Hislop
We suspect that dogs everywhere are in unanimous agreement that Halloween is their least favourite human holiday. It is full of fearsome and frightening things – sudden, loud noises; unfamiliar people in disturbing costume; lots of strange activity around the house with knocking and doorbells. From a dog’s point of view, it is all terrible tricks and no treats. And it isn’t confined to just the one night.
Right now, in many housing estates, the evenings are punctuated by bangers. Walking your dog in the evening can be a real challenge. In some areas, bangers started as early as late August this year. So how can you help your dog cope with the run up to Halloween?
Timing Is Everything
Many of us walk our dogs in the evening. We get home from work, have dinner and then head out. Unfortunately, that means walking at the same time that kids are out with fireworks. It isn’t easy getting up these dark, autumn mornings, but if you can take your dog out before work, you’ll have a more peaceful stroll. Another option is to take two shorter walks, one in the morning and one in the evening. It makes for less exposure to the bangers.
Location, Location, Location
If you live in an estate with lots of bangers in October, could you take your dog to a quieter area to walk? Your dog will enjoy the change of scenery. New places provide lots of mental stimulation. And the opportunity to walk without scary loud noises will mean your dog can work off some of the stress through exercise without experiencing more stress. Sometimes even a town centre can be more peaceful than a housing estate if you don’t live near a quiet park or other calmer area.
Safe Dog Walking Tips for Halloween Season
When you go out, wherever and whenever that is, you can follow a few easy tips to keep your dog safe.
- Wear reflective gear so you both can be seen easily.
- Keep your dog on lead. Ensure that they can’t slip out of their collar or harness because dogs are likely to bolt if they are startled. Sighthounds such as lurchers, greyhounds and whippets have very narrow heads so are especially likely to slip a collar. Use a Martingale collar and/ or a secure harness for these days.
- A basket style muzzle can prevent your dog from picking up anything dangerous on the ground, including bangers and chocolate. Even if you don’t normally use one, consider it for late October. Bring dog-friendly treats to help sate their appetites instead.
- Supplements such as Foran Nutri-Calm can help dogs keep their cool when things get scary outside. With magnesium and B vitamins, it is a natural way to boost your dog’s ability to relax without actually sedating them.
The run up to Halloween can be loads of fun for children as they eagerly plan their costumes, decorate the house and anticipate all the treats ahead. But it is very different for our fur babies, who find bangers, costumes and all the extra excitement upsetting. With our help, they can get through it safely.