Keeping Your Pets Safe and Calm This Halloween
If you’re anything like me, your dog doubles as a doorbell. When someone actually rings the doorbell, though, it’s chaos. Dogs barking at someone ringing (or knocking) at the door can cause extra stress for you and your family, especially if you have young kids. This stress usually lasts only a few minutes, but on holidays like Halloween, when friends and neighbors might knock every few minutes, it can push your dogs over the edge.
In addition to causing anxiety, holidays like Halloween, which come with a lot of extra noise and new people, can also increase the incidence of runaways and fear-based responses in dogs, such as aggression. Not only that, but there’s also the possibility that sweets, chocolates or even decorative candles might wind up being a safety hazard for your pets.
Rather than letting your dogs suffer through the holiday, there are a few things you can do to help them stay calm on Halloween.
Provide a Calm Environment
Keep your anxious pet in a different room with a door or a gate, especially while children are trick-or-treating and banging on your door. Putting your pet in a separate room with a more peaceful environment can protect them from getting hurt, lost or even injuring others because of anxiety and fear.
Arrange your pet’s bed or crate, and their favorite toy or comfort item in the room where they’ll be spending the evening. Playing soothing music at a low volume can also help encourage a relaxing atmosphere. At my rescue farms, I play classical music, which has proven to be quite effective. Also a puzzle toy or puzzle feeder can help keep their minds engaged for a while. Be sure to check on your pet and of course give lots of cuddles, as needed!
Keep The Leash
A pet running away is one of the most common anxieties over the holidays, especially when the door is constantly open. If you have opted not to give your dogs and cats their own space, away from the active front door, remember to be cautious and keep track of your pets while opening the door.
Even if you usually don’t leash your dog on walks, even if they are extremely well trained, make sure you leash your dog when you go outdoors during holidays. Sudden loud noises such as fireworks, banging, and children shouting might cause your dog to panic and bolt. So keep your pets safe, and on a leash this holiday.
Ok, so we’ve pretty much all been guilty of dressing our pets up for Halloween. Seeing your dog or cat dressed up as a hot dog or a little furry superhero can be incredibly adorable. However, be sure you’re away of the materials in any pet costumes, be sure to avoid costumes containing lead or zinc beading. Ingesting lead or zinc can be toxic if your pet starts to chew that costume off.
If your pet tries to slip out of a costume, make sure it isn’t too tight or difficult to remove (as counter-intuitive as this may seem). Tight straps or ribbons might cause your pet to become tangled, which can cause them to panic and struggle, or even accidentally block their airway.
Candles, Jack-O-Lanterns, And Candy
A jittery dog or cat may become agitated and accidentally knock over candles or jack-o-lanterns, putting your family and home at risk of fire. Make sure that all candles and jack-o-lanterns with candles inside are off the floor and out of the reach of your dogs and cats.
There will most certainly be a lot of chocolate in the house if you have a bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters or if your kids bring candy home at the end of the evening. In addition to the obvious dangers of chocolate for your pet, also keep other sweets away from your dogs and pets as well. Sugar substitutes like Xylitol, which are commonly found in candy, are toxic to dogs and can induce seizures and even lead to death.
Calming CBD Oil For Dogs and Cats
There are plenty of safe, holistic ways to keep safe this Halloween. Using essential oils is a great start. Lavender oil is not only calming to people but is calming to pets too. Use it in an oil diffuser or dilute with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, to put on the skin for a calming effect.
CBD oil for pets can be especially beneficial for managing anxiety and stress. Our CALM: CBD Oil for dogs, cats and horses is great for reducing stress from noise anxiety (like fear of thunderstorms or fireworks), anxiety around strangers, and the general stress that comes with the holidays.
My dog, Odie, has always been very anxious. When people come to the door, he is the first to sound the alarm, barking until he can’t breathe. I started using CBD Dog Health’s CALM: CBD Oil for Dogs anytime I knew he could be triggered or stressed, and the difference is huge. CBD Dog Health’s CALM CBD Oil is also formulated with lavender essential oil, which works together with the calming effects of the CBD.
Your pet may need a combination of all these tips, they may need to be in a calm, safe space, with toys, cuddles, aromatherapy, music and calming CBD oil, or perhaps they’ll be just fine with only one of these methods. Every pet is unique, and these are just some tips to help them stay safe and comfortable through the holiday.