Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

Halloween is almost here, which means lots of spooky fun for both children and adults. While people of all ages love this holiday, there is one big group that doesn’t automatically share this enthusiasm. The group we’re talking about is dogs. Given all the noise, masks and other increased activity that goes along with Halloween, it’s something that can put dogs and other animals on edge. However, if you wish your pet could also safely enjoy this holiday, the good news is that’s completely possible.

Here’s exactly what you need to know to keep your dog safe and happy during Halloween:

How to Keep Your Dog Calm at Home

If you’re going to have candy available for trick or treaters, you’re in for an evening of seeing lots of fun costumes. But regardless of whether kids are knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell, chances are your dog isn’t going to love all this extra noise. You can help keep your dog at ease by creating a comfortable space for it in the back of your home. Using a radio or TV in combination with a fan can help drown out all of this extra sound.

Planning to be gone on Halloween? It’s still a good idea to create this type of safe space that minimizes sound for your dog. Keep in mind that your dog may be more anxious than usual, so double-check around your home to make sure there’s no spot where your dog can escape if it gets frightened. This is actually a good opportunity to check that all of your dog’s microchip information is up to date.

Taking Your Dog Out on Halloween

Anyone with an especially anxious dog is best off leaving their pet in a safe environment at home. But if your dog does fine when people and other animals are around, you may want to take it trick or treating with the rest of your family. Due to the increased activity that you’ll be around, keep your dog on its leash at all times. And if you’re thinking about dressing your dog up, be sure your dog feels comfortable and the costume doesn’t create any unnecessary anxiety.

Be Smart About Halloween Candy and Decorations

Most people know that candy can make a dog sick. And if a dog eats enough candy at once, it can be fatal. So be sure to keep candy stored safely away where there’s no chance of your dog getting into it. Halloween decorations are another less obvious danger. Make sure your dog isn’t chewing on any Halloween lights or similar decorations you have around your house.

Finally, while pumpkins don’t pose the same threat as candy, any dog that eats a large amount is going to have an upset stomach. So if you have a Jack-O-Lantern, put it in a spot where your dog won’t be tempted to start snacking on it.

Why Are Dogs Scared of Fireworks?

Posted by Dawn Donaldson

While we’re just at the beginning of summer, it won’t be all that long until the 4th of July is here. Throughout Cincinnati and the rest of the United States, the 4th is a great opportunity to enjoy food, family and fireworks. However, there’s a large group that does not like this holiday at all.

Dogs are the group that would be much happier if the 4th of July was celebrated differently. The reason dogs of all ages and sizes dislike this holiday is the fireworks. More specifically, the majority of dogs are scared of fireworks. As a dog owner, it never feels good to see your buddy getting upset. So if you want to know why dogs are scared of fireworks and if there’s anything you can do to help, keep reading to get all the answers:

Dogs’ Excellent Hearing Plays a Key Role in Their Fear

We all know that on the 4th and in the days leading up to this date, fireworks are going to make loud sounds in the evening. But dogs don’t have a way to know this holiday has arrived. So when they suddenly hear fireworks going off, it’s the equivalent of a human being startled by a loud noise they weren’t expecting.

What makes fireworks an even more intense experience for dogs is their acute hearing. A dog’s keen senses also explain why they may be afraid of fireworks but not thunderstorms. With thunderstorms, dogs are able to pick up on warning signs like high winds or barometric pressure changes. Sensing those changes gives a dog the ability to prepare for what comes next.

How to Help a Dog That’s Scared of Fireworks

Not every dog is scared of fireworks. If yours doesn’t show any signs of being upset, it’s either their easygoing personality or enough exposure to loud noises at a young age to know fireworks don’t present a threat. For all the owners who do have dogs that get scared by fireworks, there are a few ways to help reduce anxiety.

The first is to provide a safe and secure place inside for your dog to go. A crate with a toy or dog bed are two good options. The next tip is to play calm music. This can help provide a distraction. Another way to distract your dog is by giving it a treat. An added benefit is this can actually create a positive association for your dog with fireworks.

The last tip is to stay calm. Your dog will look to you for reassurance. By maintaining a calm energy, you can help your dog understand that there isn’t any danger instead of causing your dog to worry even more.

After a long day of work and other obligations, it’s nice to wind down by taking your dog out for a walk. While this can be an enjoyable and relaxing experiencing for both you and your dog, it is important to understand that night walks present a handful of issues that don’t come up during the day. Since you want your walk to be a safe and enjoyable experience, we’ve put together the most important tips to follow:

Make You and Your Dog Visible

The number one rule for night walks is to make both your dog and yourself very visible. If you’re walking in an area that involves crossing the street, being visible is a no-brainer. But even if you’re sticking to sidewalks or another area that doesn’t involve cars, visibility is important for avoiding collisions with cyclists. Reflective clothing is a great way to make yourself visible, while a lighted leash, lighted collar and/or lighted harness are all excellent options for your dog.

Know the Area Where You’re Walking

One of the many nice things about taking your dog for a walk is being able to discover and explore great new areas that are close to you. While finding new areas to walk is very enjoyable, this is something you should limit to your day walks. By sticking to areas you already know well for night walks, you can avoid accidentally getting into any situations where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

Ensure Your Dog is Prepared for Any Weather Conditions

During the summer, you may wear a t-shirt and shorts while walking your dogs. But as the cold of a Cincinnati winter sets in, you probably start to bundle up. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, it may be best for them to wear gear to help keep them warm. A heat vest or boots for their paws are options worth looking into so that your dog can enjoy the walks you take together instead of feeling negatively affected by the cold conditions.

Have a Good Flashlight

In addition to making yourself and your dog visible, you want to be sure you can see what’s around you. For example, if a critter like a raccoon is lurking around, you’ll want to steer your walk in a different direction to avoid a confrontation. Bringing along a quality flashlight will also make it easy for you to fully clean up after your dog finishes doing its business.

Don’t Forget Your Cellphone

As long as you follow all of the tips we covered above, you shouldn’t have any issues during your walk. But since there’s no way to be 100% certain of exactly what may happen or what the two of you could encounter, be sure to have your cellphone with you. Always bringing your phone along on night walks is a simple but effective way to have peace of mind while you’re out.