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.

Treat Your Very Good Dog to An Adorable Hawaiian Shirt This Summer

twygg, iStock/Getty Images Plus
twygg, iStock/Getty Images Plus

This summer, treat your very good doggo to a very stylish Hawaiian polo shirt—because dogs are people, too.

The shirt, made by Expawlorer and available through Amazon, features a vibrant Hawaiian island scene that will surely highlight the sparkle of adventure in your dog’s eyes and remind you that they deserve an extra belly rub for staying on top of seasonal trends.

It’s made from a natural cotton that will help keep your dog cool beneath the heat of the blistering summer sun, and the Velcro fastener on the front of the shirt will ensure a stress-free dressing experience (for both of you).

Dog wearing a Hawaiian shirt on the beach
Expawlorer, Amazon

Does your dog have an unparalleled penchant for making messes? Fret not: The shirt is machine washable and can be thrown in the dryer, too.

Prices start at $12, and you can purchase it in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large. According to the product description, it fits small and medium-sized dogs best; one reviewer notes that the extra large is snug on their 60-pound dog. If the petite sizing prompts you to wonder, “Would this fit my cat?,” the answer is yes. The small size is designed for pets with a 10-inch neck circumference, which would work for the average cat, though it may be a bit loose on smaller kitties. (“Would my cat let me put this on them?” is an entirely different question that only your cat can answer.)

The Hawaiian shirt is much more than a bold and festive fashion statement—its rich history dates back to the 1920s, and the look has been embraced by a variety of human celebrities, including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.

However, if the “life of the party” connotation of the Hawaiian shirt doesn’t quite fit the personality of your pet, here are some other options.

[h/t Her]

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Female Lab Rats Are the Victims of Gender Bias, Too

Alexthq // Getty Images
Alexthq // Getty Images

Sexism in the workplace isn’t limited to humans. Because neuroscientists presumed that hormonal fluctuations in female lab rats would affect their test results, they have mainly stuck to studying male lab rats. But they may not be getting the whole story, reports Bethany Brookshire at Science News.

Female lab rats do indeed have hormonal surges that affect their behavior—but so do males. Previous research has shown that females consume more cocaine when in heat (in other words, with higher estrogen levels) than at other times. But males with low or high testosterone performed poorly on memory tests.

It’s not just the hormones and their effects that differ between the sexes—it’s also the timeframe for hormonal surges. Behavioral neuroendocrinologist Irving Zucker, who detailed these differences in a 2017 study [PDF] in Biology of Sex Differences, tells Science News that females’ hormones vary more over a few days, while males’ vary more over the course of a single day.

There are also differences between the sexes that have nothing to do with hormones at all. In a 2015 study in eLife, Rebecca Shansky, a neuroscientist at Northeastern University, showed female and male rats a tone or light followed by a (harmless) shock to the feet. While all of the rats first learned to freeze after the signal, fearing the shock, some of the females responded to subsequent signals by racing around the cage—for no obvious hormonal reason. Shansky concluded that female rats may learn to process fear differently than males, suggesting that equality of the sexes among lab rats (at least in terms of studying them) can lead to more insightful results.

Plus, if male and female rats behave differently in a given situation, it’s possible that male and female humans would, too. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, human females have also frequently been excluded from clinical trials, including several important long-running studies on aging and other issues.)

And if you’re starting to feel like rats deserve more credit than you’ve previously given them, check out these other impressive rat facts.

[h/t Science News]

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