With its costume parties and candy-fueled festivities, the scariest thing about Halloween for most adults is probably its associated calorie count, but the holiday can be truly terrifying for dogs. Additionally, some young trick-or-treaters could find our furry friends frightening, even if they are loving canines confined on their own home turf. Here are seven tips to help ensure everyone -- including your dog -- has a safe and happy Halloween.
Keep your dog indoors
The best spot for most dogs on Halloween is indoors. Ideally, furry family members should be kept in a room or crate well away from the doorway where you’ll be distributing candy. That will prevent them from taking advantage of you or unsuspecting trick-or-treaters to make a break for it, and it will likely help your pet stay calmer during doorbell ringing, knocking, and stranger visits from youngsters in creepy costumes.
Exercise before festivities
Treat your dog to a walk or exercise session before dark on Halloween to help burn off some energy, and provide your pet with a toy to keep it entertained while trick-or-treaters are making their rounds. You may also want to consider investing in some pet-friendly Halloween treats to reward your dog during check-ins throughout the evening.
Only let your dog outside under supervision
If nature calls, keep a close eye on furry friends, even when they are in their own yard. Not all tricks people play on pets are harmless Halloween fun, unfortunately, and even well-intentioned little werewolves and witches could inadvertently let your dog loose by opening the wrong gate. If your pooch will be outdoors at all during the dark hours of All Hallow’s Eve, be sure he’s wearing the right equipment, whether you’re walking him or letting him burn off some energy in the backyard. A reflective harness or collar will help him stay visible, and if you’re walking your dog, be sure to also have a reflective leash, a flashlight, and a blinking, clip-on light your dog can wear so you’ll both be visible to cars and pedestrians.
Make sure your dog has contact information
In case your dog does pull off an escape act, it’s important he or she is outfitted with up-to-date identification. Tags with your contact information will make it fast and easy for a friendly neighbor to return your pet, but an embedded microchip is the best form of foolproof identification should a dog shed its collar.
Be careful with costumes
Canine costumes are adorable, but they aren’t every dog’s dream. Many organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, recommend against dressing your dog in a Halloween costume unless you know the animal enjoys it. If so, make sure the outfit doesn’t limit your dog’s ability to see, move, breathe, or bark, and check it carefully for parts that could fall off or be chewed off and present a choking hazard for your pet. Lastly, don’t take off your dog’s identification tags for the sake of appearances.
Watch out for decorations
Keep a close eye on Halloween decorations. Interesting new objects and wires could look like chew toys to curious canines, putting them at risk for electrical shock, and a wayward paw or happy tail could easily overturn a jack-o-lantern with a lit candle inside. Your best bet is to put any Halloween decorations well out of your dog’s reach to prevent any accidents or injuries to both people and pets.
Be careful with candy
Candy should be reserved for human Halloween visitors since some sweet treats contain ingredients that can be dangerous, or even deadly, for dogs. For example, chocolate can cause vomiting, seizures, and other symptoms, and the artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Xylitol can cause a rapid decline in blood pressure, seizures, loss of coordination, and liver failure. Halloween isn’t the only time dog owners need to keep a careful eye on ingredient lists: Xylitol is found in some sugar-free hard candies, yogurts, and even some brands of peanut butter.
Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for dogs. Sticking to these seven simple suggestions will help make the holiday a treat for you and your four-legged friend alike.
The Endangered Species Act was passed by congress in 1973 by a vote of 355 to 4, an unimaginable majority in this day in age. In the words of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 is a key legislation for both domestic and international conservation. The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.”
The idea behind it is to conserve plant and animal species before it is too late. While not every species listed as protected is in imminent danger of extinction, the act serves to stop at-risk animals from heading in that direction. Since its passage 45 years ago, the Endangered Species Act has saved the bald eagle, grey wolf, and other species from extinction.
A list of endangered animals was created in 1969, which brought the recognition of endangered species onto the national scene. In his 1970 State of the Union address, three years prior to the passage of The Endangered Species Act, President Nixon proclaimed, “Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later. Clean air, clean water, open spaces-these should once again be the birthright of every American. If we act now, they can be.”
We have moved far, far away from this position. Environmentalism has become a thorn in the side of conservatives, and a bastion of liberals. Long gone are the days when everyone could rationally agree that the protection of species matters. Conservatives say that the act hampers economic development because it prevents drilling, mining, and logging, all of which would boost economic growth. But we must consider the long term, and realize that without sacrifice now, we are failing to recognize the detrimental effects to at-risk species and our environment if we do not take action in the present day. The debate poses us with a moral dilemma; do we want to be preventative or reactionary? While the reactionary method would serve our economy in the short term, it fails to recognize the detrimental long term effects to our environment. We must be preventative in order to protect our nation’s species.
In July of 2018, the Departments of the Interior and Commerce made a joint proposal, which suggested sweeping changes that will strip the Endangered Species Act of its key provisions. Although the Department of the Interior says the changes are being put in place to lessen the burden of overregulation, these changes are consistent with a pattern by the Trump administration to roll back environmental regulations.
There are several infractions of the proposal, one of which is to end the protection of species regardless of if they are endangered or threatened and instead determine the protection of threatened species on a case by case basis. In addition to this, federal agencies would not have to get approval from scientists and wildlife groups before awarding permits for oil and gas drilling and logging, which would put many species at risk.
The Endangered Species Act was passed under a republican president; it was passed in an era when environmentalist wasn’t drenched in partisanship, when it was possible to vote for the economy and for the environment. Sadly we couldn’t be further from that political environment, but we as a country need to return to a time when you could be liberal or conservation, and still an environmentalist. At the end of the day, we all live on this planet as a unit, and we will suffer the consequences of ignoring that fact. Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc. supports us all coming together as people who can care for the other animals around us and to put responsibility for life over profect for few. Please do what you can to protect our animals and defend the Endangered Species Act.
“Endangered Species Act.” Official Web Page of the U S Fish and Wildlife Service, www.fws.gov/international/laws-treaties-agreements/us-conservation-laws/endangered-species-act.html.
Fears, Darryl. “Endangered Species Act Stripped of Key Provisions in Trump Administration Proposal.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 July 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/07/19/endangered-species-act-stripped-of-key-provisions-in-trump-administration-proposal/?utm_term=.a5ce0fdb0392.
Friedman, Lisa, et al. “Law That Saved the Bald Eagle Could Be Vastly Reworked.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 July 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/climate/endangered-species-act-changes.html?em_pos=medium&emc=edit_sc_20180724&nl=science-times&nl_art=6&nlid=65466980emc%3Dedit_sc_20180724&ref=headline&te=1.
Raymond, Gabby. “The Endangered Species Act Faces Threats-Why Was It Created?” Time, Time, 23 July 2018, time.com/5345913/endangered-species-act-history/.
“Richard Nixon: Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union. - January 22, 1970.” The American Presidency Project, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2921.
The Editorial Board. “Donald Trump Has Endangered Species in His Sights.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 July 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/07/22/opinion/editorials/zinke-interior-endangered-species.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region.
So you’ve decided to get your very first pet. It’s an exciting time, but you need to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you begin. Owning a pet is a good deal of work, so here is what you need to know to be successful.
Picking the Perfect Pet
When deciding what pet you’ll get, consider your lifestyle. If you’re too busy to devote much time daily to your pet, choose a low-maintenance animal, such as fish or reptiles. Dogs and cats need care and companionship each day. If you’re a night person, a dog may not be the best option. A cat, rabbit, or rodent of some kind might be a better option, as these creatures tend to be up later at night. If you live with other people, even if it’s your pet, the decision won’t be solely yours. See if they have allergies or preferences before getting your pet. You need to consider the home itself, too. If you have a yard and plenty of space and lead an active lifestyle, a dog may be great. If not, consider something else that is more independent.
Prepping Your Home
There is much you need to do to properly prepare for your new pet. First, make sure that there is nothing your pet can get chew and choke on. Next, ensure that all cupboards are locked soundly, so your pet can’t get into poisonous chemicals, and that the trash can seals completely so no mischief happens with the garbage. Set up their sleeping area before they arrive, and make sure they have plenty of toys to go with it. You’ll need food, dispensers, and a water dish as well. If you have carpet or rugs, you need to be familiar with how to remove pet odors ahead of time. Babies and nervous pets, which adopted rescue animals may be, are likely to have accidents. Luckily, you just need common household goods, like white vinegar and baking soda, to make a good solution to remove scents.
Form a Bond
Pets may be slow to show affection, especially if they are rescues. Don’t be discouraged. If your pet is showing destructive behavior or food aggression, there are ways to work around this. You can give them food separated from everyone else so they can eat alone until their behavior improves. If your pet is destroying furniture, they may be under-stimulated and need more playtime. Grooming and petting are two ways to help your pet relax. Give them plenty of treats, as food is a good way to earn their love. Giving them stability through rules and following a schedule can also be a great way to encourage your pet to bond to with you.
Help Your Pet Feel Safe
Sometimes, pets don’t acclimate immediately to a new home. You can help them feel safe in many ways. If you have a rescue, see if they have any favorite toys or security objects, and make sure that your pet has access to them throughout the day. Having a clean space to go to the bathroom at all times, even when you’re out, is a good way to keep them calm and help them adjust. Having their own space, such as the area you created for them to sleep in, or a crate, can make them feel secure. Contrary to popular belief, even dogs do well in confined spaces, as this mimics a den. Animals also crave stimulation, so make sure they have toys and that they enjoy them. When you leave, consider leaving the television on or using a podcast for sound, as it can help your animal feel like they are not alone.
It may be a good deal of work, but getting a pet is worth it. They give unconditional love and make life better overall. With the right planning, you and your new pet can embark on a long life of happiness and adventures together.