Halloween Anxiety in Pets: Free Offer

Halloween anxiety address by pet expert Steve Dale


Many pets never received the memo that Halloween is supposed to be fun. They truly are spooked by all those creatures that smell like humans but resemble zombies or superheroes, even American Presidents.  Halloween anxiety in pets may begin with the constant ringing of the doorbell and all the commotion is disturbing.

For two reasons ensconcing those animals in a room behind a closed door is a really good idea. If sequestered to the basement or a bedroom, there’s no concern about the pet bolting out the front door.  This is a real issue, as many pets are reported lost around Halloween.  Also, you can better manage the fear, anxiety and stress many animals are feeling.Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tips

Think about it. No one wants their pets to feel afraid – even on Halloween. The good news is that you can do something about it, which is what the international Fear Free initiative is all about.

Prepare for Spooks, Ghosts and Goblins

Preparation starts a few days before Halloween.

Plug in pheromone diffusers in the room the pets are most often in, especially the room that you’ll soon choose as the sanctuary room when the trick or treaters begin to ring the doorbell. Adaptil diminishes anxiety in dogs and Feliway Classic is the pheromone product for cats.

Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tipsFeliway Classic is a copy of the comforting pheromone deposited by cats when they rub their cheek pads against your leg or a table leg. The cats are essentially communicating “This is my world and welcome to it.”

Adaptil is a copy of the calming pheromone found in the milk of nursing mothers to puppies.

Using analogues of these pheromones is an easy and natural way to take the edge off, helping pets to cope and to maintain comfort in their own environment.

In the room the pet is sequestered in, close any windows, so pets don’t hear the rowdy trick or treaters, and so the pheromone trail doesn’t drift out the window.

Music and Distraction Therapy Minimizing Halloween Anxiety in Pets

Turn on your favorite talk radio station as background, or pump up relaxing music.Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tips

These days, there’s even soothing music that’s specially produced for pets. The leader in the industry is ICalm Pet which includes various packages and types tunes designed to calm dogs or cats. Victoria Stilwell offers calming music on her site, and A Sound Beginning is another example of calming music created for dogs.

Could it be that dogs are a little rock ‘n roll, and cats may be a little country?  Actually, it’s the classical music genre that seems to be the most relaxing for dogs and cats. In one study, reggae was most calming for dogs, giving a new meaning to Marley and me.

Distraction is a smart strategy to minimize Halloween anxiety in pets. Stuff treats or kibble or moist food into a Kong toy or any of the myriad of food dispensing toys now on the market. If your dog or cat (yes cats too) are working on figuring out how to get the yummies, they won’t be simultaneously anxious about those noisy trick or treaters. (Warning: This method isn’t a good idea when pets are aggressive in a confined space about sharing food and/or toys).Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tips

When a family member is available, distract with a favorite game – that’s often an effective diversion, such as playing with a dog with squeaky toy or using an interactive toy (fishing pole-type toy with feathers) to engage a cat.

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If you’re unable to distract your pet, and that background music won’t do the trick there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of going a step further; in fact, it may be the most humane solution for canine and/or feline nervous nellies. Nutraceuticals are a great place to begin, and can be acquired online or through your veterinarian.

Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tipsZentrol is a proprietary blend of plant extracts. Studies have demonstrating this chewable can lower fear, anxiety and stress. Studies have also demonstrated that dogs exhibit fewer “negative behavior” resulting from fear, anxiety and stress. Some caretakers suggest their dog is “acting out,” when, in fact, the dog is anxious.


Zylkene demonstrates grandma was right about a glass of warm milk being relaxing. Zylkene contains bovine-sourced hydrolyzed milk protein, an ingredient that has calming properties.Pet expert Steve Dale on pet Halloween safety tips

For dogs specifically terrified of loud noises, speak with your veterinarian about a pharmaceutical SILEO (dexmedetomindine oramucosal), which does require a prescription. SILEO is an oromucosal gel (which means it is applied to the pet’s gums) and is quick-acting,

If you describe your pet as afraid all the time, talk with your veterinarian or contact a certified animal behavior consultant or a veterinary behaviorist. Never punish or holler your pet for being afraid, that will only have the opposite of the desired affect and create more fear, anxiety or stress.

No one wants their pets spooked on Halloween. And it is possible to minimize Halloween anxiety in pets.



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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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