Keep your dog safe, happy and calm during the spooky festivities this Halloween.

Halloween will soon be here, and while we know that itís all in good fun, our furry friends may not. To us, trick-or-treaters are expected and we are prepared with candy and jack-oí-lanterns. Our pooches arenít expecting the doorbell to ring repeatedly for hours. Dogs only accept what we have exposed them to at a young age, so itís natural for them to be afraid when the routine changes. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe and happy during Halloween:

Long Walk: Before the kids in costume start patrolling the neighborhood, take your dog for a long walk. Get that extra energy out of their system before the mayhem begins. If your dog is tired, he will be less likely to react to the strangers approaching.

Ring the Bell!: A few days before Halloween, start ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. Up until this point, they most likely associate the doorbell ringing with people coming into the house. This usually leads to the dog getting excited and worked up. If you break that association by constantly ringing when nobody is entering, they wonít be shocked on October 31. Essentially, youíre taking the Pavlov out of it (well, substituting barking for drooling)!

Costume Etiquette: If you are planning on dressing up your dog for the festivities, please prepare them. You canít throw your pup into a fancy getup without warning and expect them to behave normally. Dogs who arenít accustomed to costumes sometimes get anxious and nervous. Put the costume on briefly a few times a day to get hem used to it. Make a big fuss and use treats. And then, of course, post multiple pictures of your dog dressed as a taco on Facebook.

Boundary Safety: While preparing for your trick-or-treaters, prepare for your dog. Even if your dog is social and friendly, Halloween can be overwhelming. Kids in crazy costumes will make even the most well-balanced dog nervous (hey, kids in costume make ME nervous). If you have a dog door, lock it. Keep the dog in the house during witching hour. If they tend to be nervous, keep them in a different room or crate and try to designate a safe spot for them.
Read more about the 5 Spooky Smart Safety Tips For Your Halloween Hound at PetGuide.com.