October is a great month for dog training. The weather is starting to get cooler so you can enjoy more time outdoors with your pets. In most places, there are numerous fall festivals, pumpkin carvings, apple harvests and corn mazes for you and your dogs to enjoy together.
With all of the fun activities though, comes the important part of management. Please be careful not to let your dog overindulge in apples, pumpkins, corn or any other fall treats that may give them upset tummies or loose bowels. If you purchase candy or baked goods, make sure they are put in the cupboard or away from the edge of the counter so as not to tempt your dogs.
This is also an important time to be an advocate for your dog with all the fun activities available. If you have an outgoing dog that enjoys the events, by all means take them with and have some family fun together. BUT if you have a shy or reserved dog that would not enjoy the crowds, make sure to leave them at home so they can enjoy the peace and quiet in their home environment. Please make sure that they get adequate mental and physical exercise though and meaningful one-on-one time spent with you (going for a walk, playing tug, canoeing, hiking, fetch and just exploring in the yard or local park).
Lastly, watch out for all the candy that may be coming into the house and make sure to have children empty their backpacks, clean out their lunch boxes and empty their coat pockets. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and could accidentally ingest some chocolate candy, gum or other goodies that could be poisonous or potentially fatal.
Our final tip to make the holiday successful…Make sure to find loose fitting Halloween costumes for your dogs that do not restrict movement or eye sight and make sure they are contained the night trick or treaters come by. Some dogs love to be part of the action and welcome all the masked visitors but others would much rather be in a bedroom with the door closed, TV on and a nice stuffed kong to munch on. Halloween is a fund time of year but take extra precautions to make sure it isn’t stressful or scary for your pets.