Wednesday, October 27, 2010
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jennifer Feurer
Direct: (414) 431-6123
Keep Fido Fright-Free on Halloween
MILWAUKEE – Scary faces and constant visitors make Halloween very special - and especially stressful - for some dogs. Keep your precious pooches safe during trick-or-treat and Halloween parties. WHS’ Behavior Program Manager, Natalie Zielinski, recommends these helpful Halloween suggestions:
• If your dog seems frightened, stay calm and cool. Put a good amount of distance between your dog and trick-or-treaters. Never force your dog to interact if he is frightened. The least stressful option is to place your dog in a back room with an enrichment toy to avoid the scary people.
• If your dog is the type to go bonkers at the sound of a doorbell you should put her in a crate or back room with a delicious chew toy. You can also disconnect your doorbell for this day to avoid the constant trigger. Or, put up a sign that states “out of order” to discourage trick-or-treaters from ringing the bell.
• Some dogs will proudly strut their stuff in a Halloween costume, while others will cower or even panic. Start with something simple like a jester collar and be sure to reward your dog with tasty treats. If your dog is not comfortable, consider a bandana this year and continue to practice for next year!
• Candy is not good for dogs, and with their hard working noses, you can bet they will find it. Be sure to keep all candies secure in cupboards or pantries. Consuming chocolate can be fatal. If your dog eats chocolate, call your animal emergency center immediately.
• Also, keep safety in mind - even when wearing a costume, you must be able to keep your dog on a leash, and if you're going out at night, reflective strips (such as the kind you can get at sporting good stores for bikes) or flashing lights will help people and drivers see your dog. Make sure that your dog can still see and move comfortably, and that she can't chew off and swallow any pieces of her costume!
To consult the Behavior Department at the Wisconsin Humane Society, please call 414-431-6173.
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