Halloween is an annual event that people of every age can look forward to. However, the very nature of Halloween means that it can also be frightening for younger children and also for animals. This is because they do not understand any changes in routine that may occur, nor why their streets are suddenly decorated and there are people in a variety of scary and spooky costumes.
This confusion means that Halloween usually has one of two different behavioral effects on dogs. They will either:
- Become ridiculously over-excited and hyperactive
- Become anxious, stressed or fearful
Unfortunately, the adrenalin that is triggered by these emotions can cause a ‘flight or fight’ response in your dog. Since there is no actual threat in the form of another animal or person, there is a strong likelihood that your dog will do their best to expel their adrenaline and any nervous energy that he has by trying to run and this means escaping your home.
Your dog is more likely to become lost on Halloween than virtually any other night in the year
More dogs are reported lost during Halloween week that at any other point during the year, and one of the main reasons for this is that so many canines run away. Unfortunately, since their behavior becomes unpredictable, a dog that escapes their home is likely to be involved in an accident or become injured, especially if they are scared.
Things to consider when securing escape routes from your home
One of the best things that you can do to minimize the chances of your dog escaping this Halloween is to create a ‘safe zone’ for him, somewhere inside your home. Ensure this is in a room away from the front and back doors, and where you can securely close the door when entering and leaving. Place his bed, his favorite toys, water and food into the room so that he feels safe. Also check that any windows are securely shut and locked.
When the doorbell rings, ensure that everyone in your home knows the protocol for answering it. Under any circumstances, do not leave the door to your dog’s safe zone open so that he can get anywhere near the front door.
If you plan on letting your dog into your yard this Halloween, you will need to double-check that it is secure. All gates should close securely and ensure that he cannot get over or under fences – this means checking that there are no bins or storage units pushed up against the boundaries that he could use to get over them.
Finally, take your dog for a long walk earlier in the day to help burn off some of his excess energy. This may make him less restless and more inclined to relax and sleep rather than charge around your home trying to get out!
The importance of pet microchipping
Pet microchipping is a tamper-proof form of animal identification. It uses a microchip that contains your personal details which is inserted under the skin of your pet. If she is lost and then found, she can be scanned, and your personal information retrieved, increasing the likelihood of her being returned to you. If your dog becomes lost or stolen, you can also let the microchip provider know who can flag your details with this information should she be recovered. Studies have shown that animals who are microchipped are significantly more likely to be reunited with their owner. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you get your dog microchipped before Halloween this year.
If you would like further advice on how to escape-proof your home or pet microchipping, please contact our experienced team, based at our modern, comfortable veterinary offices in Andalusia, AL.