Tonawanda News —
Keeping your pet occupied during the trick or treating can also reduce stress. Exercising before the event will help purge the animal of extra energy. If the pet sleeps through Halloween, you can be sure that it was a stress-free evening.
Having a designated caregiver in the room to play with and distract your pet is another option. Slowly feeding out the main meal for your pet, after various behaviors are presented will keep your pet focused on what is happening in the room.
If you can’t have a person in the room with the pet, checking in periodically is good for two reasons. The first is that if any stressed behaviors, like chewing on furniture, urinating in inappropriate places arise they can be addressed quickly. The second reason is that by checking in on your pet frequently the pet will feel more relaxed and confident by your presence.
Interactive toys and feeding puzzles are great at keeping your pets occupied. Prior to Halloween, you can place some treats or kibble in a cardboard box with balls of newspaper. Allowing your pet to become familiar with the new feeding device on a typical day might be better than presenting it to them with all the hullabaloo of Halloween.
Store-bought feeder toys and kongs work well too.
Sensory overload for our pets is a large stressor during Halloween. The noise from the trick or treaters is not the only source. Animatronics growling, the overpowering smell of chocolate in the air and the shine of decorations hanging from the ceiling can all be stressful to our pets.
Adding decorations slowly, or better yet, outdoors where our pets can escape the sight of them should reduce stress. If you can keep Halloween outdoors, including the passing out of the candy, your entire indoors can act as a safety retreat for your pet. Every time you see children approaching you can step outside and pass out the candy, hopefully avoiding the ringing of the door bell and maybe the droning of “trick or treat!”Kenny Coogan has a B.S. in animal behavior. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or search for "Critter Companions by Kenny Coogan" on Facebook.