by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
On Halloween there are hoards of kids patrolling the streets, repeating the cultural code of "trick or treat" in expectation of candy bars, lollipops, and salt water taffy. It's always fun to come home after a night of candy-collecting and sort your winnings, make trades, and dive into the sugary goodness. However, if you have a pet, you need to be careful when you come home with the candy. Traditional Halloween candy is definitely not good for your pet, and so you need to be cautious of what slips into your pet's mouth during this junk food defined holiday.
Too much junk food isn't good for you and me, and for our own health we need to watch what we put into our bodies. Sometimes it's hard to refrain from eating delicious candy bars, but it is usually in our best interests. After some time, we could experience noticeable and unhealthy side effects of eating too much candy. With our pets, the same basic rules apply, except that the negative effects begin much sooner. If a pet binges on too much sugar all at once, the effects could almost be instantaneous. Especially around a candy-filled season, you need to make sure that your pet is eating nothing it shouldn't.
What if your pet looks at you with those puppy love eyes, wanting just a piece of candy? You can't give in, because if you do, then you'll be setting yourself up for a pattern of caving. You don't want your dog to establish dominance over you, and by refusing your dog harmful things like candy, you can better establish you as the master.
You can appease your pet, however, by giving other novelty treats. Buy a type of treat that you don't usually feed your pet, and when you come up to a holiday where there is an influx of candy in your house, you can please your pet by giving it its own special treat. Whenever you and your family begin digging in on your Halloween spoils, throw your pet a treat and let it enjoy the holiday as well!
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