The spooky season is looming and it's a time for pumpkins, costumes, and fa-BOO-lous decorations. Halloween is all about tricks, treats, and spooky fun for families, but have you ever considered how it affects your dog?
For many dogs, Halloween can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. It's a night filled with weird, wacky, and downright scary things they've never seen before. Trick or Treaters alone can quickly fill your dog's stress bucket, especially if they're dressed as witches, ghosts, or other creepy creatures!
When considering how you can get ready for the spookiest time of year, here at A-OK9 we know how important it is to be proactive so that you can set your dog up for success. Join us as we share some top tips, tricks and super solutions to help keep your dog safe and happy this Halloween.
Are you ready to transform Halloween from a source of stress to a spooktacular celebration for your canine companion? Let's dive in and ensure that your dog enjoys a safe and happy Halloween season and many more to come.
TOP TIP #1: TRICK OR TREAT TRAINING FOR A SAFE AND CALM HALLOWEEN
As a hair-raising Halloween take on one of our favourite games, this version of Positive Pairing adds a dash of spook to your training sessions!
This is a great game for dogs triggered by noise or those who have learned that particular sounds (a knock at the door, the doorbell ringing or someone shouting “Hello! Anyone home?”) predict specific events that they find worrying or exciting.
To play, basically do a dry run (lots of them!) for Halloween and show your dog there's nothing to be excited/scared about when there's a knock or voice at the door. Before Halloween, start ringing the doorbell yourself, or knocking on a nearby wall and then act like a crazy lady by pretending to welcome a visitor your dog never sees!
Start out quiet and calm, with gentle knocks and even whispered words for those noise-sensitive dogs who need to start small. As your dog begins to understand the idea it's none of their business you can amp up the creep factor – try calling ‘Trick or Treat’, or even put on your best howl! Who knows, your dog might even join you!
The focus should be on reinforcing your dog for making great decisions and not barking or reacting to any of the Halloween horrors you are creating. The best response from your dog here is no response – so be sure to set them up to succeed. Don’t make it too hard or use sounds you know your dog is worried about. This is a great one for the whole family to get involved with!
The more your dog learns that nothing exciting happens when visitors arrive, the calmer they will be during Trick-or-Treating!
TOP TIP #2: MANAGE DOOR KNOCKING AND ACCESS FOR A SAFE AND CALM HALLOWEEN
Halloween can be a frightful time for your dog with constant door knocking. To help them cope, fill up Kongs and provide passive calming activities, so they're occupied and less anxious. Consider posting a polite sign requesting no knocking to minimise stress. This proactive approach can prevent your dog from getting overwhelmed.
Even if your dog is fine with visitors, it's best not to let them have access to the front door during Halloween. Strange costumes and unexpected surprises can spook your dog. Keep them in a separate, comfortable space with calming activities during the festivities.
TOP TIP #3: GIVE YOUR DOG A FRIGHT-FREE ZEN ZONE FOR A SAFE AND CALM HALLOWEEN
Help your dog out and keep them safe and stress-free at Halloween by setting them up for success. Create a cosy space in a room or area away from the front of the house, so all the spooktacular noise of the front door is lessened.
Prep their Halloween-free zen space with their favourite toys, where your dog can feel safe and relaxed. Secure all doors and windows, and close blinds and curtains to minimise the impact of all the strange, spooky sounds. Keep your dog safe and secure so that they can have a stress-free Halloween (and so can you!)
Use white noise machines, calming music, or even a TV to mask the sounds of spooky guests arriving and trick-or-treaters walking by your home. Be sure to turn this on well before the trick-or-treaters start - and rehearse in advance so you're not doing it for the first time on Halloween Night.
TOP TIP #4: SUPPORT YOUR DOG’S RELAXATION WITH SUPERFOODS FOR A SAFE AND CALM HALLOWEEN
Dogs, just like us, can benefit from the power of calmness. A calm dog experiences less frustration and fear. It's the recipe for a happier and healthier canine companion!
Providing your dog with a natural calming supplement that specifically boosts relaxation and supportstheir brain and gut health can help your dog be on their best behaviour on Halloween. That's why ourCalm-K9 superfood supplement is the key to helping your dog stay calm, safe and relaxed this Halloween!
Calm-K9 is crafted with all-natural, mood-boosting ingredients like Tryptophan, Passiflora, and Lemon Balm, alongside gut-loving probiotics and L-glutamic. A simple daily addition to their food helps reduce stress hormones, promoting lasting tranquillity.
THE NATURAL WITCHY WONDERS IN CALM-K9
L-Tryptophan: This essential amino acid is found in turkey and pumpkin seeds. It's known for boosting serotonin, often referred to as the "happy chemical," in your dog's brain. This increased serotonin helps your dog feel more optimistic and calm.
Lemon Balm and Passiflora: These natural herbs are included to promote relaxation in dogs. They work in harmony with L-Tryptophan to help your dog remain calm in challenging situations.
Pre and Probiotics: Calm-K9 incorporates gut-supporting pre and probiotics. These help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for your dog's overall well-being.
By nurturing a balanced gut-brain axis, Calm-K9 empowers your dog to navigate stressful situations with confidence. Visit our website and pick up someCalm-K9 for your dog today!
TOP TIP #5: BE READY WITH ENRICHMENT SNACKS FOR A SAFE AND CALM HALLOWEEN
Your dog may be worried or over-excited about the festivities of Halloween, including strangers knocking at the front door or ringing the doorbell, so give them something to do while this is happening and plan calming, enrichment activities to use in-the-moment!
Enrichment activities are extremely powerful in helping your dog achieve a calm, zen state because they can trigger the release of dopamine in your dog's brain, so prepare lots of tasty, calming enrichment activities like lick mats, stuffed bones and Kongs, snuffle mats, puzzle toys in advance to give your dog in their zen space as Halloween night and Trick or Treaters are in full swing.
LOOKING FOR AN EASY ENRICHMENT EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR DOG?
Try ourK9-Calm Mat – it's a win-win for you and your dog!
A K9-Calm Mat is a unique, textured mat designed to engage your dog's senses and keep their mind busy. It's the perfect tool to help your dog learn to regulate their emotions and find happiness during potentially negative events, like a haunting Halloween Night!
THE BENEFITS OF USING A K9-CALM MAT
The act of licking or engaging with the mat can soothe your dog and help them cope with stressful situations.
Enrichment activities, like using the K9-Calm Mat, keep your dog mentally engaged and prevent boredom, which can lead to anxiety.
The repetitive licking motion can have a calming effect similar to meditation in humans, reducing stress levels.
Easy to Use:
Simply spread your dog's favourite treat, like their raw or wet food, dog-safe peanut butter or yoghurt, onto the mat, and let them enjoy the tasty challenge.
It can also help to prepare and feed these calming, enriching snacks in the days leading up to Halloween's spooktacular events to help your dog keep their bucket as empty as possible.
Visit our website and pick up aK9-Calm Mat for your dog today!
TOP TIP #6: BE YOUR DOG'S BEST ADVOCATE FOR SAFETY AND CALMNESS ALL YEAR ROUND!
Beyond Halloween, remember that the holiday season extends to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. Each of these occasions may bring unique challenges for your dog. Stay ahead of the game by anticipating potential stressors and taking steps to prepare your dog for them.
Whether it's the smell of unfamiliar foods during Thanksgiving or the noise of fireworks on New Year's Eve, a proactive approach can make these occasions more enjoyable for both you and your canine companion. Keep your dog's well-being in mind throughout the entire holiday season.
And as the jack-o'-lanterns glow and the spooky decorations adorn your neighbourhood, remember that it's easy to get caught up in the Halloween excitement, but amidst the tricks, treats, and ghoulish fun, let's not forget about our ever-loyal canine companions.
For them, this season can bring about unexpected fears and anxiety. We've embarked on a journey to transform Halloween from a source of stress to a spooktacular celebration for your dog.
We've shared a treasure trove of tips and tricks to empower your dog for a safe and happy Halloween, setting them up for success not just for this eerie night but for many more to come.
So, don't wait until the last minute. Embrace the knowledge and tools we've provided to make this Spooky and Festive Season, and all the seasons to follow, a stress-free and joyous experience for your dog.
Together, you and your dog can embark on a journey of understanding and empowerment, ensuring every moment is one of spooktacular celebration and canine companionship.