Should we dress up our pets for Halloween?
Dressing up on Halloween can be great fun for children and adults alike, but what about our furry friends? Just like people, dogs and cats are individuals, and no two animals are the same. For some pets, getting dressed up and the attention their costume brings, is super exciting. For others, however, it can be less positive, ranging from mild discomfort to seriously anxiety-inducing. If you want to include your dog or cat in the Halloween fun, definitely practice with their costume before the event so there isn’t any pressure. It’s great if they can practice wearing the costume for short periods of time and gradually increase the duration. If the costume has multiple parts, try one at a time so Fido or Fluffy aren’t overwhelmed. Always keep it positive – don’t force anyone to wear something they don’t want to, and if at any point they start to look uncomfortable, remove it and reward them for being such a good sport!
众所周知，巧克力对狗有毒，尽管很少知道它也对猫有毒。值得庆幸的是，由于缺乏甜味受体，猫的牙齿少于狗，但请记住，好奇的小猫可以进入任何东西！巧克力的毒性与其可可含量有关，这意味着所有巧克力都有可能造成伤害，具体取决于剂量。可可含有咔啉和咖啡因，刺激心脏的毒素搅拌更快，导致血管扩张，放松平滑肌。这些可能导致危险的心律失常和癫痫发作，但在较低的剂量下，最常见的迹象是呕吐和腹泻。巧克力较深的可可浓度使其比牛奶巧克力更多的毒性，因此需要较小的剂量造成不良影响，但甚至牛奶巧克力可能对小狗和猫致死。黑暗和烹饪巧克力可含有高达400毫克或更多的每盎司的根瘤，而牛奶巧克力可能在50-150mg /盎司之间。对于中型狗，只要一盎司黑巧克力就会导致中毒的迹象，大约20mg / kg是一个潜在的毒性剂量。
While many people recognize the risk of chocolate, candy may be overlooked as another potential source of harm. The high sugar and fat content can cause acute pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening illness. Sugar-free candies can be even more deadly if sweetened with xylitol instead.
巧克力和糖果不仅危险,但even snack foods deemed healthy for humans, like certain fruits and nuts can be dangerous too. For example, macadamia nuts can cause vomiting and neurological signs, while raisins can cause acute kidney damage.
无论何种类型，让所有人类万圣节都脱离宠物触及极为重要！保持桌子上的碗和桌子上的弯道与好奇鼻子的触手可及。如果你的傻瓜伴随着一个孩子的伎俩或治疗，请务必将收集的糖果安全远离他们，不要让甚至善意的陌生人给Fido给零食。Remember, there are treats made specifically for pets that are safe and healthy for them to eat (including Halo’s Liv-A-Littles for dogs and cats, or Halo Vegan Biscuits for dogs), allowing your pets to take part in the treat celebrations too!
Help Your Pets Keep Their Cool with Trick-or-Treaters
我们知道食尸鬼和小妖精来我们的门on Halloween are friendly kids celebrating a fun holiday. Our pets, on the other hand, may find them to be terrifying intruders and either hide themselves away or try to protect us from these monsters! It can be a stressful and even scary night for them, so preparing early will help give them their best chance at success. Even for your calmest and friendliest pets, practice with getting them desensitized to door knocks. You can do this by knocking on a wall or table, or even knocking on the door itself, followed by… absolutely nothing. If your cat or dog learns that door knocks have absolutely no significance, that they don’t necessarily mean someone is coming in or that anything exciting is happening, then next time there’s a knock at the door they won’t instantaneously react. Work as well on desensitizing them to seeing strange masks or costumes. Dogs in particular pay very close attention to our facial expressions, and masks take away their ability to interpret our body language. They can find this both intimidating and frustrating, quite understandably! It might sound silly, but try spontaneously wearing a mask or costume when you’re in the house doing your normal daily routine. They’ll learn that seeing people in unexpected garments isn’t something to be frightened of, and that even their best friend might be the one hiding behind the mask, so it isn’t something to be concerned about.
Of course, for some of our furry friends, having a space away from the action will be a far better and safer option. If your home allows, separating Fido or Fluffy from the front door can help reduce their anxiety. This may be upstairs or downstairs, or even in a room they are comfortable in. Try playing some relaxing music in their space to help drown out the commotion and keep them calm. A great activity to keep them occupied is to fill a hollow toy with canned food, soaked kibble, and/or treats. To make it last even longer, freeze the toy. For the more anxious, swaddling them (like Thunder Shirts) may help and/or hormone diffusers like Feliway and DAP may be another level of support for them. For some of our most anxious furry family members, Halloween might just be too much for them. You may wish to opt out of Halloween and not invite Trick or Treaters to your door. Or, if the activity out on the streets is still too much, some pets may appreciate a sleepover somewhere less lively – perhaps a friend or family member living on a rural property, or even a boarding kennel – somewhere quiet where they can escape from the festivities.
Have fun and stay safe!
Dr. Sarah Dodd