Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween stress for pets

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays but with pets in the house there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for trick-or-treaters to disperse throughout your neighborhood.  Apart from the danger that chocolate toxicity holds for dogs it can be very scary for your pets to have a steady stream of strangers knocking on your door. 

At my house whenever someone knocks on the door all four dogs go nuts and start barking like crazy.  It is an interesting study in behavior as they are barking for different reasons.  Lilly just likes to see what is going on while Frank and Sparkle are excited by the prospect of someone new in the house.  Poppy on the other hand barks for an entirely different reason – fear. 

Poor Poppy is incredibly anxious in general and fearful of anyone she doesn’t know extremely well.  Having stranger after stranger invade her home is probably as close to a waking nightmare that she can get.  When people are going to be in the house that she isn’t use to I give her a dose of anti-anxiety medication to try and make the situation a little less scary.  I also put her in a crate that is in a room away from the front door and turn on the TV for background noise.  Finally for the busiest time of the night we will stand outside to handout candy so there is minimal knocking on the door.

If you have a dog that has any anxiety issues or seems to show distress around unknown people please keep these tips in mind to make the Halloween festivities go as smoothly as possible for them.

Frank and Poppy

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