Every time the doorbell rings at my house, it sounds like a pack of rabid dogs are attacking. It’s a pretty cool Halloween trick, but it sure does scare people! Does this sound familiar to you? If so, Halloween might not be your – or your dogs’ – favorite holiday. Here are a few helpful hints to keep everyone calm and happy this Halloween.
First off, the main goal is remove the triggers that upset your pet. One of my dogs doesn’t mind being safe, protected and confined in my room, blissfully sleeping the evening away even while there is constant traffic at my front door. Unfortunately, one of my dogs becomes a nutcase every time the doorbell rings. Figure out what noises or actions trigger stress in your pet.
An easy, pet-friendly solution to prevent the doorbell from ringing would be to leave a note on your door asking people to knock. If knocking is also a problem, then you could sit outside. Here in Indiana, you might have to bundle up to stay warm, or you could be like one of my neighbors – have a cooler of frosty beverages for the adults trick-or-treating and a warm heater blowing. Might as well have fun!
Another option is to keep your pets as far from the commotion as possible. Crate your pet while also providing something enjoyable, like a peanut-butter filled Kong (frozen for added effort). If that’s not quite enough, you can also put a blanket or sheet over the crate and put a radio on in the room. The goal would be to reduce the external stimuli as much as possible, while giving your furry friend something to work on.
Of course, you have another option – not participate in Halloween trick-or-treating. You can leave your door shut and your lights off. If that doesn’t work (and many kids don’t know the old “no lights” rule), make a point by specifically decorating your house like this spooky haunted house:
Most importantly, though, you want to keep your pets in a pet-safe area that is stress-free. Let your furry kids enjoy a calm, quiet holiday while the human kids enjoy a crazy sugar-high filled holiday! Happy Howl-oween!!