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A black and brown dog, lying next to 2 pumpkins and 1 trick or treat basket for Halloween.

5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm on Halloween

October 28, 2021

Spooky season is upon us, and it’s time to start preparing for the parade of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls who will show up at your doorstep come October 31st. For some, this process also involves making sure your dog doesn’t feel overwhelmed or anxious when trick-or-treaters arrive. To a dog, Halloween can be a night full of bizarrely dressed strangers, funny new smells, and of course, unexpected doorbells. So for those of us whose pups are a little more excitable or nervous around new people, here are five things you can do to prepare yourself, your home, and your furry friend for Halloween.

Demystify the doorbell.

If the sound of a doorbell sends your dog into a frenzy, it might be a good idea to desensitize them before your entire neighborhood comes knocking on Halloween. There are two ways you can do this. The first is associating the doorbell with treats; this may require the help of a friend or family member. Have your training partner ring the doorbell and immediately give your dog a treat. If your dog barks, simply ignore them. If they remain quiet, reward them with another treat. A few minutes of doorbell practice each day will eventually teach your pup to remain cool and collected when trick-or-treaters come calling.

An even easier way to doorbell-train your dog is to simply ring the doorbell every time you come home. The people your dog sees every day typically enter the home without ringing, so the sound of the doorbell means your dog is about to meet an exciting new person. When you arrive home, ring the doorbell, wait for your dog to stop barking, and then calmly come inside. Your pup will eventually come to realize that there is nothing special about the sound of the doorbell, and on Halloween, they will be much more likely to remain calm.

Take a long walk during the daytime.

During the day, make sure your dog gets all the exercise they need and more. Take them on a long walk or a hike, play fetch or tug-of-war in the yard, or take them on a puppy playdate. If your dog has a lot of unspent energy, when costumed strangers begin to show up at your home, it’s natural that they might lose their cool. But if your pup has had their daily exercise, they’ll be much more likely to lie down and watch quietly. They might even take a snooze while you hand out candy.

Avoid the front door.

Unless your dog is very social, it’s probably best to keep them away from the door in a separate room or in a space where they feel safe, like a crate. The strange sights and sounds of Halloween night might scare or agitate them, resulting in higher-than-usual stress levels or even escape attempts. For a comfortable crate that won’t leave your furry friend feeling left out of the fun, our Revol Dog Crate is safe, secure, and easy to use.

Turn on some white noise.

If you choose to put your dog in their crate, create a calming environment for them to make them even more comfortable. Leave the TV, radio, or white noise on in the same room as your dog to mask the sound of the doorbell and new voices.

Distract your dog.

Whether your dog is in their crate or waiting with you for trick-or-treaters, it’s a good idea to give them something to do. Surround them with familiar toys and delicious doggy-safe treats as a distraction or give them a treat puzzle to keep them busy while you answer the door. Groov, our first-of-its-kind crate training aid, is a great choice since licking is shown to be a relaxing activity for dogs. If you want to give your pup a Halloween treat of their own, you can also fill the Groov with peanut butter, fruit, or yogurt, pop it in the freezer, and make them a “pupsicle!”

Halloween is an exciting and confusing time to be a dog. Fortunately, there are a number of measures you can take to make sure your best friend is safe, happy, and even having as much fun as you are during the holiday.

The Diggs Team

Dog-Loving Pet Parents

We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.

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