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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Halloween can be a really stressful time for many dogs. They’ve already had to learn to maneuver an environment dominated by humans and then we have these random days throughout our lives where we do really weird stuff! From loud booms on July 4th to totally creepy creatures during October 31st, our dogs endure a lot of potential stress. A ton of dogs will be dressed up for Halloween as they march in pet parades and accompany their humans door-to-door.  There are good, better, and best ways to dress your dog and there are a few things we just shouldn’t do at all.

I would like to add in a really important one I intended to mention but did forget (you’ll see why in the video!). Please do not ever ride your dog. No matter how large the dog, no matter how small the child. This will set the dog up for a lot of potential mental stress and future health issues.

Happy Halloween!!

 

Amber Walker, KPA CTP, Owner & Trainer, Animal Intuitions, LLC. You can contact Amber at 630-53-PUPPY (630-537-8779),  Amber@aitrainers.com or www.aitrainers.com

 

 

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially if you have little human-kids…carving pumpkins, making costumes, buying candy and seeing all of the other costumes. Kids get so excited to see how much candy they can collect and then the sorting of it and trading with friends or siblings (this was the best part)! Our fur-kids, on the other hand, might not like any of this. Below are safety tips to make sure that your pet has a fun Halloween too.

The Candy Bowl ~ The candy bowl is for little human goblins, not our four-legged goblins. Several of those treats that are handed out are toxic to our pets. ALL Chocolate – especially dark and baking chocolate – can be dangerous, even lethal.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased hearth rate, and seizures. Sugar free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, causing loss of coordination and seizures.  The number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 888-426-4435 (the hotline charges a fee of $65 per case).

Be Careful with Costumes ~ For some pets, putting them in a costume will cause undue stress. If your pet loves being in a costume, make sure it does not limit their movement, ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure to check for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Make sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big day, to make sure they enjoy it and for them to get used to it.

Protecting Your Pets ~ Having a doorbell constantly ringing and too many strangers can be scary and stressful for our pets. Keep them in a separate room away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours. If you would like something to help your dog calm down during this stressful time, stop in and ask a team member about Happy Traveler (this is an amazing product that will help in all kinds of situations that brings on anxiety for our pets). If your dog is social and doesn’t get stressed with visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t run outside. And always have the proper identification – just in case they do escape – a collar with ID tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Decorations ~ Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire and a curious kitten are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Keep glow sticks away from your pets, the liquid in the sticks are thankfully not toxic but it tastes awful if you pet does chew on one. This can cause them to paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. If you think that your pet did chew on a glow stick offer some water or treat to help clear the liquid out of their mouth.

We hope that you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween and if your pet does like to be dressed up, stop in so they can trick-or-treat too!!

 

In my family, Halloween is one of our favorite times of year. The trees are colorful, the kitchen smells like apple cider, and the cutest little ghosts and goblins wander around the neighborhood doing the best to look frightful!

10431249_791800060866672_1675487833336778634_oBut while we humans are having such a fun time, that’s often not the case for our furry friends.  The sound of a repeatedly ringing doorbell can send some dogs and cats scrambling for cover. Unfamiliar holiday visitors can cause excessive anxiety. For these situations, the Thundershirt and Happy Traveler, by Ark Naturals can be a huge help! See our past blog: Thundershirt + Happy Traveler = Stress Free Summer to learn more about these two products.

The scarier aspect of Halloween, from a pet perspective: the fact that tiny trick-or-treaters may decide to “share” some of their Halloween goodies with your four-legged friends. Even when the trick-or-treaters aren’t so tiny, their treat baskets can often wind up unattended, or in easy-to-reach places.  I can tell you, that when this happens the frantic trip to the emergency vet is NOT pretty.

So, as Halloween is just around the corner, it is worth remembering some especially menacing food culprits to keep away from our beloved pets:

Chocolate ~ In ANY form, this is extremely toxic to your dog or cat. It contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine – both of which are hard for cats and dogs to process.  The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous.

Grapes and Raisins ~ Humans often think of these as healthy Halloween alternatives. But for dogs and cats — they will cause kidney failure.DogToxins

Xylitol ~ This no-calorie sweetener is often used in sugar-free gum and certain baked products. In many dogs and cats, it can cause a sever, and sudden, life-endangering drop in blood sugar levels.

Ethanol (including Ethyl Alcohol, Grain Alcohol or Drinking Alcohol) ~ Even small amounts of this compound can cause life-threatening toxicity in dogs and cats – and don’t forget, flavor syrups and raw yeast bread dough often contain it too.

At Two Bostons we have several pet-safe alternatives for your dogs and cats to still enjoy Halloween Festivities.  Check out our bakery case, Puppy Kisses or other sweet treats!

This weeks blog is from Amber Walker, lead trainer and owner at Animal Intuitions, LLC…I hope you get some good tips to help your dog be Halloween ready!

Hisk and Hark! Draw close and tremble! This is the night when ghosts assemble!

Halloween season is here with crazy costumes and scary decorations everywhere we look.  Many dogs have no issues with them and others 10-2015 Halloween with Leowill be petrified.  It’s so important to me that a puppy is able to brush off a scary situation, that in my puppy classes we have Halloween night every 6 weeks all year long!

I can’t tell you how many owners purposely scare their dogs with creepy masks or devilish costumes because their dogs freak out and it makes the owner laugh…and it drives me crazy.  I already dislike jokes, pranks, and April Fools on humans but to do those things to an animal that doesn’t have an understanding of what Halloween or any joke concept, is just sinister!  If I just described you…I wag my finger.

So! For those of us that want to make sure our new puppies or adult dogs are ready for this season, there are a few things you can do.

***TRAINING TIP: Anytime you can take a neutral situation (nothing bad or good is happening) and turn it into a positive one, you are setting your dog up for future success!

  • Get Halloween decorations out on the floor (if safe and won’t be destroyed by dog) or low and still in your hand in the “off” position, for those with sound and lights.  Allow your dog to investigate it on their own.  Treat or pet your dog for being brave.
  • If the decoration or costume moves or lights up, turn it on from this low/still position and pet or treat your dog for being brave again, now with lights and noise.  You may have to start from many feet away at first.  Bring the object closer as the dog is showing signs of being relaxed or curious.
  • As your dog becomes comfortable with the object, move it around or allow self-moving objects to move at this time.  Pet or treat your dog for bravery and curiosity.
  • If your kids are going to be wearing their costumes all the time, allow your dog to see it in pieces or flat on the floor before the kids are flying around the house in them.  For puppy class, we allow the dog to get rewarded for the mask, gloves, cape, and head piece all separate before the trainer dons the entire outfit as one costume.dogeatingcandy
  • Doorbell!!  Since your doorbell will be ringing every 90 seconds, consider bringing your dog to the front door on a leash, standing there, and ringing it over and over again with a cookie each time it rings.  Allow them to see no one is there, nothing is happening, and the doorbell is actually really boring.  Up til now, there’s a good chance your dog thinks that a pizza rings the bell every single time.  Or for simplicity, put the dog in a different room with Through A Dog’s Ear music, some lavender diffused oil and a white noise sound machine and let them sleep the night away!
  • Keep all chocolate and candy out of reach of dogs especially counter surfing pets.  And keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case they do get into the candy bowl.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Make it your pets’ favorite too!!

 

MelissaG_profileA few weeks ago, we posted an awesome blog about some of the dangers your pet may encounter during the fall season, such as, school supplies, garden snakes, and mushrooms that grow during this time of year. But Halloween also can be a “scary” time of year for our furry friends.

Just think–the constant ringing of the doorbell, the children dressed up as strange creatures, all the candy laying around–all these festive activities can cause a lot of anxiety in pets and are often overlooked in the excitement of our own enjoyment of the holiday.

 

Here’s some helpful tips from Two Bostons to make sure you and your pet have an awesome Halloween!

 

  • Stressful pet? Get some Happy Traveler! We’ve talked before about how awesome Happy Traveler is for pets who are scared of thunderstorms and fireworks. But if that doorbell has your pet on high alert, a little happy traveler can be perfect for that as well! About 30 minutes before the Trick-Or-Treaters are about to head out, give your pup the recommended dosage or put their Thundershirt on. When the doorbell starts to ring, your pet will feel much more relaxed and the night will go a lot more smoothly! Stop by Two Bostons, or visit our website to stock up today before the kids come knocking!

    Happy Traveler Pills

    Happy Traveler pills

Happy Traveler Chewables
Happy Traveler Chewables

 

 

  • Be cautious on walks. It’s always risky going out for a walk at night in the dark, but it never hurts to be extra cautious on Halloween. Kids are dropping candy everywhere, and the number one pup toxin–chocolate–could be hiding in the grass nearby. You may not know until your pup has already started chowing down on it! Bring a flashlight with you and if you see anything that looks at all like it could be something your dog is going to try and goggle up – avoid it! Help clean up any chocolate wrappers or discarded candy you find to help your neighborhood clean up as well. And if kids are still out trick or treating, be sure to avoid any rowdy crowds that could get your pup worked up.

dogsincostumeonleashes

 

  • Consider your pet’s personality. If your pet is not good in crowds, DON’T try to take them Trick-or-Treating with you! I would absolutely love to bring Shenzi around in her adorable costume, but I know she gets very excited around kids and it would probably be a bad idea to put all that stress on her. Even though it’s tempting to bring your dressed up pup out with the kids for adorable photo opportunities, you’ll be saving yourself, your dog, and other Trick-or-Treaters a lot of stress by keeping the dog at home while you venture out with the kids.

In the excitement of the Halloween season, we often overlook our furry friends and how they’ll react to all the events happening on Halloween night. Take a few precautions and Halloween will be a fun and enjoyable time for everyone – and don’t forget to send Two Bostons pictures of your adorable fur babies dressed up in our Halloween Up Country collars and Party collars!

Holiday Collers by Up Country--Check out the Halloween one!

Holiday Collers by Up Country–Check out the Halloween one!

 

Did you find this blog post helpful? Well then post a comment and let us know! Two Bostons wants to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

MBB_Profile

In my family, Halloween is one of our favorite times of year. The trees are colorful, the kitchen smells like apple cider, and the cutest little ghosts and goblins wander around our neighborhood doing their best to look frightful.

But while we humans are having such a fun time, that’s often not the case for our furry friends. The sound of a repeatedly ringing doorbell can send some dogs and cats scrambling for cover. Unfamiliar holiday visitors can cause excessive anxiety. For these situations, the ThunderShirt, Ark Naturals Happy Traveler Chewables, and other aids can be a huge help – and I’ll talk about why (plus how/when to use them) in “Part 2” of this post, later this week.

For now, let’s consider one of the scarier aspects of Halloween, from a pet perspective: the fact that tiny trick-or-treaters may decide to “share” some of their Halloween stash with your very best four-legged friends. Even when the trick-or-treaters aren’t so tiny, their treat baskets can often wind up unattended, or in easy-to-reach places. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when this happens, the frantic trip to the emergency vet is NOT pretty.

 

DogToxins

Many treats that we consider totally safe — even healthy — for humans can be extremely toxic to our four-legged family members!

So as Halloween approaches, it’s worth remembering some especially menacing food culprits to keep away from our beloved family pets:

Chocolate
In any form, this is extremely toxic to your dog or cat. It contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine – both of which are hard for cats and dogs to process. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. If you want a totally safe, chocolate-like alternative, just come into any Two Bostons store for Carob Puppy Kisses to help your best friend celebrate fearlessly. Carob is free of these problematic compounds.

Ethanol (including Ethyl Alcohol, Grain Alcohol or Drinking Alcohol)
Even small amounts of this compound can cause life-threatening toxicity in dogs and cats – and don’t forget, flavor syrups and raw yeast bread dough often contain it too. To let your pets in on the festivities, stop by any Two Bostons bakery case for unique, healthy and deliciously decorated treats.

Grapes and Raisins
Humans often think of these as healthy Halloween alternatives. But for certain dogs and cats — and it’s impossible to predict which ones — they’ll cause kidney failure. In my house, we say better safe than sorry and head over to Two Bostons for some Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Crunch or Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried kitty options. P.S. ~ Did you know? Through 11/11/13, you can get 20% OFF any Stella & Chewy’s product at any Two Boston’s store! Now that’s an extra-sweet treat.

Xylitol
This no-calorie sweetener is often used in sugar-free gum and certain baked products. In many dogs and cats, it can cause a severe, sudden, life-endangering drop in blood sugar levels. Do your pups have a sweet tooth, like mine? Introduce ’em to Sam’s Yams Big Boys  – which are great for big chewers and also a really effective way to help clean teeth and gums.

Do you have a favorite pet-safe treat you share with your four-legged family members for Halloween? Tell us about it below!

TwoBostonsTreats

Two Bostons specializes in a wide range of treats that are unique, festive, tasty and totally safe for all the canines and kitties in your life.