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D2004-39

Dear Daisy Dog

We dread Halloween at our house. Our dog, Buster, is frightened of the children who come trick-or-treating.

He cowers and barks the whole time they are here. What can we do for him?

Daisy Responds

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I sniff each trick-or-treater, because I want to figure out if I know the child inside the costume.

But some dogs are spooked because the children are dressed so strangely. It’s especially scary for us dogs when we can’t make eye contact with these masked intruders.

To help Buster manage his fear, seclude him in a back room with his favorite toys and some soothing music or the television for distraction.

If you think that won’t be enough, ask your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication. Consider melatonin, which has mild sedative effects and is available over the counter.

Be sure Buster wears an identification tag on his collar, in case he escapes from the back room and bolts out the front door. A microchip provides additional assurance that you’ll get him back if he runs.

Don’t put candles in jack-o’-lanterns, because we dogs can singe our hair when we sniff them – or even knock the candles over.

Keep Buster away from the candy, especially the chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.

And monitor him around decorations and light cords, so he doesn’t become entangled or chew on them.

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