Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Dog's Eye View of Halloween and Anxiety Wrap

Halloween is a time for dress up, tricks and treats. It’s great fun for humans, but may not be a good night for our dogs.

Most dogs do not like playing dress-up. Putting a costume on your dog may look cute, but is the dog comfortable? Many dogs are uncomfortable with and even afraid of suddenly being forced into wearing hats & clothing of any kind. If you want your dog to wear a costume make sure the outfit is flame retardant and freely allows the dog to breathe, see and hear. He needs to be comfortable with it so a bit of work on your part is required. Gradually desensitize the dog to wearing the costume before going greeting the public. To do this put the costume on the dog while giving him some tasty treats. Repeat this several times until he comes to associates wearing a costume gets him great treats! Remove small or dangling pieces he might chew or swallow and avoid rubber bands.

If you’re wanting your dog to be part of greeting trick-or-treaters, you should know most dogs are too excited or fearful to remain well mannered at the door. When a dog is over stimulated or fearful it's not fun for the dog, even if that tail is wagging! The truth is, most dogs are stressed by Halloween activities and the interruption of their routine. An ordinarily well-mannered dog may feel threatened enough by oddly dressed and acting strangers at the door to growl, bark, lunge or even bite. Do your dog a huge favor and put an Anxiety Wrap on him or her 20 to 30-minutes before the trick or treaters start ringing your doorbell and leave it on throughout the evening's activities. You should also consider putting him in another room with a food stuffed toy, but at the very least allow him to roam the house freely wearing his Anxiety Wrap, and never force him to join you at the door! The freedom to remove himself from the activity is necessary for him to feel safe. Think about it, if you were unsure of someone or something would you feel better if you were pulled closer to the scary thing or person or would you feel better if you were free to back up and keep your distance. Of course the answer is, you would feel better being allowed to approach if and when you felt comfortable with the situation. It's the same thing for your dog. The Anxiety Wrap adds to the dog's comfort by via maintained pressure and acupressure, which gives your dog a safe long lasting hug creating a safer internal feeling. Remember once the Anxiety Wrap is on your dog stop interacting with him so not to get him excited which could override the its effectiveness.

More tips: Before the night begins, confirm the dog’s I.D. tags are up-to-date and exercise him with a long walk prior to any trick-or-treaters arriving. While on the walk be aware you may meet costumed children and adults. Most dogs will be afraid of not only the odd costumes, but also the scary movements costume wearers like to make. It’s a time of year where people try to scare others, including dogs, so be sure to give any ghouls a wide berth. If the weather is comfortable in your area, put the Anxiety Wrap before and during the walk to increase your dog's comfort level. If you live in an area where it is still hot outside wet the Anxiety Wrap with cold water and it will act as a cooling agent in addition to calming your dog. Once back home keep your dog indoors because dogs are known to be taunted and teased, when left outside. When this happens some dogs become so frightened they run away in an effort to remain safe.

Remember, no candy for the dog and be sure to keep the candy bowl out of the dogs reach at all times. Explain to everyone (including children) how dangerous candy is to dogs. Chocolate is particularly dangerous to dogs, causing cardiac problems or even death and is found in many Halloween goodies. If you have any reason to suspect your dog ingested chocolate, check with your Veterinarian right away. Here are some of the symptoms: excessive drooling and urination; pupil dilation; rapid heartbeat; vomiting, diarrhea; hyperactivity; muscle tremors, seizures or coma.

Halloween is a night of fun for kids, but definitely not the best night of the year for dogs. Although with proper planning, and the Anxiety Wrap you and your dog will do just fine.

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