Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year.
People on the quest for the scariest costume. Grassy lawns filled with everything from ghosts and goblins to witches and warlocks. Kids trekking door-to-door in search of tricks and treats. Family pets dutifully donning traditional pirate garb with matching hat and sword…
But as much fun and excitement as the holiday brings for their human companions, our four-legged friends might not be that into Halloween.
Here are some ways The Barking Lot recommends to get your pet into the spirit of the season and create a welcoming environment when little boys and ghouls come a knockin’.
Consider how your dog reacts on a normal day when visitors are at the door. Are they friendly? Do they bark uncontrollably? Do they listen to commands like “stay” and “sit”?
Prepare Your Pet in Advance
If you’re not planning to utilize dog boarding on Halloween, you might have to get your dog used to constant door bell ringing and the parade of unfamiliar faces by preparing him ahead of time. Install a gate in the doorway. Practice having a friend or family member come over and knock, then ring the doorbell. Once your pet starts barking, offer them a treat. When they stop barking to eat the treat, reward him with praise. Repeat until he’s more comfortable with visitors.
Create a Pet Space
Find a place – a dedicated space for your pet to go when people show up at the door. There might be a bit of training involved before your dog will comply, so it’s best to start before Halloween.
Place your pet’s favorite treat in this “space” and then command them to go there. Give that spot a name and use it when you’re training them so he becomes familiar with it. Once they’re used to going there on command, have someone ring the door bell. If they leaves this space, instruct them to go back. When they do, give them a treat. Continue until they stay there when someone comes to the door.
Practice with Costumes
Get your pet used to seeing people in costumes at the door. Come out of a room holding your costume in front of you. Don’t put it on yet. Have a hand full of treats to offer they when they walk toward you. If they run and hide when they see you, wait, go back in the room and try again. Try doing the same thing every few days until they’re no longer afraid. Then try approaching them with the costume on. Reward them each time they approach you.
Have a Plan B
If your pet isn’t ready to stay in their space or greet trick-or-treaters by Halloween, try setting up a room with food, water and a bed on the big night. Let them stay there until it’s over. You can also put candy outside on the porch to keep the evening eventful for everyone.
The Barking Lot is proud to offer all of your dog care needs not just in the summer but all year round! If you are looking for dog boarding nearby or grooming near Deerfield, the Barking Lot is your spot! Looking for something your pup can do? We also provide dog walks and dog daycare for them to interact with other dogs this summer! Give us a call at (847) 205-3647 or stop and see us at 495 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, IL 60015. We look forward to seeing you and your dog soon!