3 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe This Halloween

iStock/monstArrr_
iStock/monstArrr_

Halloween might be one of the best holidays of the year, but for our dogs, it isn't necessarily all that fun. If your dog gets spooked easily, or is usually scavenging for leftover food and crumbs around, this holiday can actually be extremely dangerous.

Here are some safety tips to help you get into the Halloween spirit and keep your pupper safe, courtesy of VoiceNews.

1. DON'T OVERDO IT WITH THE COSTUME

Despite dog costumes being adorable, some of them might put your furry friend in distress. When picking out a look for your pet, make sure not to cover their eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid any possible choking hazards, such as buttons or necklaces. And above all, make sure the costume actually fits them so that they can still walk around normally and not feel constricted.

2. BE CAREFUL WITH THE CANDY

It's obviously okay to bring your dog trick-or-treating or have them around the house while you're giving out candy to your neighbors, but you have to be careful they're not consuming any candy. Specifically, chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins, and the artificial sweetener ​Xylitol can be deadly for dogs.

If you do take your dog trick-or-treating, make sure to have a trusty leash on them, so if they do get scared, they cannot escape easily.

3. AVOID UNNECESSARY SCARES

If your dog is known to scare easily, especially at noises, keep them in a quiet area of your house as your doorbell rings off the hook by trick-or-treaters. The noise and the fact that unknown people in costumes are seemingly trying to come into your home can create extreme stress for your furry friend.

Celebrating Halloween doesn't have to be a hassle with dogs; just make sure you're taking these tips into consideration when the holiday arrives.

This Automatic Fetch Machine Will Keep Your Dog Occupied When You Don't Have Time to Play

iFetch
iFetch

Every dog owner knows that it's impossible to keep up with a pooch that's always looking to play. But if you want to keep them active while still having time for yourself, there's the iFetch, a toy that will automatically throw tennis balls, allowing your canine to play fetch whenever they please.

You can find the iFetch Original, which is ideal for small or medium dogs, on Amazon for $115. The Original can either be charged with an AC adapter or run on six C batteries, both of which are included. You can adjust the settings on the iFetch to throw the ball 10, 20, or 30 feet, making it perfect for indoor or outdoor play. Once it's charged and the distance is set, let your canine drop a tennis ball into the machine and it will take care of the rest.

If you have a large dog, look for the iFetch Too, which is available on Amazon for $200. This model has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 300 throws. This model can launch the ball 10, 24, or 40 feet, and it also comes with a custom option, so you’ll find room for your dog to play no matter how much space is available.

If your dog loves their new toy, but you don't love finding slobbery tennis balls around the house, check out the company’s medium- and small-size slobber-proof balls.

It may take time for your canine to learn how to use the toy, but the company has some training tips from Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer. To start, it's recommended that your dog knows the “drop it” command. If they don’t, check out their training tips here. After your dog has mastered that command, the company has plenty of tricks, such as keeping training sessions short and ending them on a positive note. For more ideas, check out their page.

Once you set up your iFetch and watch your furry friend run back and forth, you may start to wonder why they like fetch so much. According to research on the subject, when dogs exercise, neurotransmitters stimulate reward regions in their brain, which is much like when humans experience a "runner's high."

If you happen to notice your canine seems particularly athletic while they are chasing the ball back and forth, check out these other sports they can play.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Ryrkaypiy, Russia, Is Being Overrun By Hungry Polar Bears

Mario_Hoppmann/iStock via Getty Images
Mario_Hoppmann/iStock via Getty Images

Polar bears are becoming a common sight near the village of Ryrkaypiy in northeastern Russia. As CNN reports, nearly 60 bears were spotted looking for food in the area, and experts say climate change is to blame.

Normally around this time of year, Arctic sea ice is thick enough for polar bears to use it as a platform for hunting seals. Temperatures have been warmer than average this year, and without the ice to support them, hungry polar bears are being pushed south into human-occupied territories on land.

According to a statement released by World Wildlife Fund Russia, the bears gathering in Ryrkaypiy are thin-looking and include cubs and adults of various ages. So far, they've been subsisting on walrus carcasses that have been lain on the village's shore since autumn.

No incidents between bears and villagers have been reported yet, but the 500 residents are on guard. Volunteers are now patrolling the town limits and school buses have started picking up children who would normally walk to class.

Prior to this decade, it was unusual to see more than three or five polar bears near Ryrkaypiy at a time. But as climate change drives global warming and melts Arctic sea ice, seeing large groups of polar bears at lower latitudes is no longer an anomaly. Earlier this year, Novaya Zemlya, Russia, declared a state of emergency after more than 50 bears invaded the region. As sea ice becomes more scarce, the circumstances forcing hungry polar bears to share space with people will only get worse.

[h/t CNN]

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