“Pets are not fashion accessories”: warning to pet owners ahead of Halloween
October 27, 2022, 06:49 | Updated: October 27, 2022, 06:55
“Pets are not fashion accessories,” warns the British Veterinary Association ahead of Halloween in a stern warning to pet owners.
With Halloween and the night of the bonfire approaching, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) urges pet owners to start preparing now if they think their pets may become distressed.
The BVA advises pet owners with pets in distress from fireworks to discuss treatment options with their veterinarian that can help keep them calm and reduce stress.
The warning comes after a veterinarian warned dog owners to take the festivities too far, after a viral TikTok video emerged of a dog wearing fake teeth for Halloween.
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Dr Anna Foreman, in-house vet for Everypaw Pet Insurance, says putting plastic teeth in a pet’s mouth is “incredibly dangerous” and dressing dogs in general can lead to distress.
“False teeth are built for human teeth, and therefore the impressions in them will not fit properly,” Anna explained.
“This means dentures can not only damage a dog’s real teeth, but they won’t fit properly, making them a choking and foreign body hazard.
“The dog could choke on the teeth, which could be fatal, or they could swallow the teeth – the dentures are then very likely to block their stomach opening into the intestines, or the intestines themselves. .
“In the worst case, dogs can suffer significantly and die from foreign body obstructions.
“There’s no reason to put false teeth in a dog’s mouth other than cosmetic teeth – it’s just not ethical.
Justine Shotton, from the British Veterinary Association, said: “Most owners consider pets to be part of the family, which is great, but it’s important to remember that pets are not Fashion Accessories.
“Dressing animals or altering their appearance in unnatural ways is not only unnecessary and potentially dangerous, but in some cases it can also prevent animals from expressing their natural behaviors and using their body language to communicate. Certain costumes can also prevent pets from properly regulating their body temperature and breathing freely, which is of particular concern for flat-faced dogs like French Bulldogs and Pugs.
“Halloween is already a stressful enough time for some pets, with excited children, familiar people looking different in their costumes and masks, and many unfamiliar people also coming to the door. It’s always better to try to keep the animals calm and reassured, than to add to the anxiety and discomfort by also dressing them.
Here are five top tips for BVA’s Bonfire Night:
- Set up a den for your pet before fireworks season and praise it when it relaxes there, so it comes to regard it as a safe retreat.
- Use pheromone products next to the den and around the house. These are scents that we cannot smell but can help reduce an animal’s stress.
- Allow for background noise and close curtains and windows on nights when fireworks are expected.
- Keep calm yourself. Never punish your pet – remember that if he grooms himself in the house, it’s not his fault.
- Move small pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, to a quiet place indoors when fireworks are expected, and provide plenty of bedding to mask sounds.