Halloween is just around the corner and Shoreline Connecticut families are starting to get into the Halloween spirit. As professional dog walkers and pet sitters, we too are beginning to see many outdoor decorations including inflatables and lights that are meant to haunt and excite. From our perspective, it’s hard to ignore the impact these kinds of holiday festivities have on our pets. For this reason, following are our top tips for celebrating a pet-friendly Halloween by considering our pets’ POV.
These days, it’s hard to go anywhere without finding over-the-top Halloween decor. From exterior plants that are styled to resemble monsters to projectors that set a spooky scene on a home’s exterior, the sky’s the limit on Halloween decor. Instead of skipping the fun entirely, consider placing more visible and potentially scary decor away from the areas where your pets enter and exit the home. Keep your doorway minimally decorated or more fall-inspired and place the inflatables and motion-activated decor away from your main walkway. This way, your pet will feel that they are a safe distance from the dancing witches when heading out on their daily walks.
Indoors, make sure your pet has an area to escape to that is free of holiday decorations. If they feel overwhelmed by the new, festive decor, they can retreat to this safe, soothing environment.
Have a Game Plan
Every neighborhood has one of those houses that goes all out on holiday decor. If you know that the house will be decorated with ghouls and goblins for the season, plan your walks accordingly.
Additionally, bring high-value treats with you on walks. If your pet stumbles upon a Halloween decoration that scares him, distract him by offering him treats. By doing so, your dog will associate the spooky decor with the yummy treats. And, he may be more willing to accept them as a normal part of his environment moving forward. Consistency is key so don’t forget those treats!
Especially with adventuring cats, skittish dogs, and puppies that are being socialized, limit exposure to triggers to avoid trauma and stress. We wouldn’t want our pets to be negatively marked for the rest of their life by an encounter with a Halloween-themed item, costume, or event.
For this reason, we encourage you to know your neighborhood’s Halloween events calendar. If your Shoreline CT community has a planned neighborhood-wide Halloween event, keep your more sensitive pets home. Or, minimize their exposure by heading back before they become overwhelmed. Being informed is the best way to prevent unpleasant run-ins with crowds, costumes, and loud noises, which can be very off-putting to our pets this time of year.
Avoid Pet Costumes
The vast majority of pets dislike wearing unfamiliar articles of clothing. If you want to take a photo of your pet in a costume, we recommend using lots of treats while acclimating them to the costume before even trying it on. Once the pet is approaching the costume freely, gently praise them while you put it on. Snap your photos and remove the costume if you see any signs of stress. No photo opp is worth scaring or stressing our pets over.
Maintain a Routine
As we often discuss in our blog posts, pets love routine. We therefore encourage you to maintain midday dog walks and pet sitting visits as you normally would this time of year. Your pets will welcome the exercise and potty breaks. The engagement with our team will also keep them feeling safe and zen.
To learn more about our services or discuss any Halloween-related concerns you may have about our visits, contact us.