Have a Safe, Happy Halloween!
Halloween is approaching, little ghosts and goblins are out and about. This can be a stressful time for our pets, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind the 4 C’s of Halloween to help keep your pets feeling safe, happy, and included during this spooky time.
How To Keep Your Pet Safe This Halloween
We all know that chocolate is toxic for our pets, but did you know that other candies can also pose a danger? An artificial sweetener called xylitol is gaining popularity in “sugar-free” products. Xylitol is safe for humans, but pets’ bodies react differently to this sweetener. Xylitol ‘tricks’ the pet’s body into thinking the blood sugar has suddenly increased. This leads to a sudden surge of insulin production, which then lowers the pet’s blood glucose to dangerously low levels. If not treated immediately, this can be fatal. While a severe drop in blood sugar can be treated emergently and the pet can fully recover, a lasting effect of xylitol toxicity is severe liver damage, which can be fatal.
So, how can you be sure your pet safely enjoys some Halloween treats with you? Avoid giving any candies which do not have the ingredients listed. Carob is a safe alternative to chocolate for pets. It can be added to homemade treat recipes or given on its own (in moderation!) Most dogs see pretty much any human food as a treat, so even offering a slice from the inside of your candy apple (minus the candy and chocolate) will likely keep your pup happy and make him feel included in the fun!
Halloween decorations often involve candles. Our pets aren’t as savvy around open flames as we are. They tend to be quite curious and at times a bit clumsy around candles. Even if a cat intends to ignore a candle on a table, she may walk past it and knock the candle over or pull something along into the flame. This obviously not only presents dangers to the kitty but also has the potential to start a damaging fire in the home. Never, ever leave an open flame unattended with your pet!
This doesn’t mean you need to avoid the spooky ambiance of Halloween altogether. There are many great candle alternatives available. LED lights that flicker and look just like a flame, glow sticks, or even ‘Edison bulbs’ can provide an eerie, Halloween-y effect.
Always assess your pet’s demeanor when wearing a costume
Of course, one of the best parts of Halloween is all the fun costumes. Who can resist dressing Fido up as your favorite superhero? Some pets have no problem at all with being dressed up-they love the attention and are quite comfortable walking around in outfits. Other pets may be quite stressed with this. Some costumes may affect their movement, making them uncomfortable and nervous. Always assess your pet’s demeanor when wearing a costume, if they seem uncomfortable at all, don’t subject them to the stress of wearing the costume. Many costumes, not only those for pets, may have ribbons and strings and dangly bits that pets just can’t resist. Always ensure your pet cannot access any part of yours or their costume to chew on and potentially ingest.
Never, ever use any dyes on your pets’ fur, as these can be potentially toxic. Remember, pets lick and groom themselves, so they are likely to ingest some of the dye. It may also be extremely irritating to their skin.
The best costumes for pets are those which don’t restrict movement and have a proper fit. If your pet’s costume is bulky or awkward, snap a few quick photos and don’t keep them uncomfortable in the costume. Though we may find a pet walking awkwardly or flopping over in a costume cute, they surely don’t feel the same way! Of course, you know your pet best, if they seem comfortable and happy, have fun with the costumes!
Halloween for pets can be a scary and confusing time. The doorbell is ringing all night long, strange-looking little people are coming to the door and taking things from our house. This can be enough to stress even the most stable of pets. If possible, try to keep your pet away from all the action on Halloween night. A cozy spot away from the door with the TV or the radio on can help them to relax and ignore the noises of the night. Bringing your pup out to trick or treat with you may sound like fun, however, this can also be extremely stressful. Again, there are a lot of very strange-looking people walking around, their faces hidden, making scary noises. It’s impossible to know exactly how dogs will react to this. Even a very well-socialized dog may be spooked enough to snarl and snap at an unfamiliar sight.
One more C…Calming!
If your pet tends to be anxious and nervous around Halloween or other holidays, NHV Matricalm can help to ease the fear and anxiety. Chamomile, Lemon Balm, and a blend of other herbs help to ease the tension associated with busy holidays and help your pet enjoy the festivities along with you. Contact our Pet Experts to help choose the supplements which are right for your pet.
Published: October 7, 2020