Costumes, candy, and pumpkins—oh my!

For many children and even some adults, Halloween is a much-anticipated and festive celebration. Who doesn’t love trick-or-treating?! But for our pets, Halloween can be downright scary. Constant doorbells, costumed strangers at the door and on the lawn, and so much candy.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Pet parents need to take extra steps to keep their dogs and cats safe during the Halloween festivities. How exactly can we do that? Check out these 6 Halloween safety tips for pets!

  1. Hide the candy. Go ahead, and enjoy those Halloween candies! But make sure to keep it out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate can be dangerous and even deadly for dogs and cats. Symptoms of pet poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and seizures. The artificial sweetener xylitol, found in many sugar-free candies and gum, can also be poisonous to dogs and cause a rapid drop in blood sugar, seizures, and liver failure.

    Even candy wrappers and components can be dangerous for pets. Candy wrappers could be a choking hazard for pets, and lollipop sticks could cause an intestinal blockage. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian right away!

  2. Keep your pet inside. From the never-ending doorbells to trick-or-treaters in unusual costumes, Halloween night can be a stressful experience for pets. It’s best to keep your pet in a safe place within your home to avoid any attempted escapes or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a crate or a quiet room can help prevent stress from loud noises and strangers. If you’re taking your children out to trick-or-treat, it’s probably best to leave pets at home.

  3. Hide the glow sticks. Who doesn’t love glow sticks? Many trick-or-treaters use glow sticks to stay safe on Halloween, and a curious pet might find them to be great chew toys. While the liquid inside of a glow stick isn’t toxic to pets, it has an awful taste, which can cause agitation and even vomiting. If your pet does get into a glow stick, offering some fresh water can help!

  4. Make sure your pet has identification. If you’re giving out candy on Halloween, you will be opening and closing the front door all night. This could give a stressed pet the perfect opportunity to escape. Making sure your pet has proper identification can help increase the chances of being reunited. Having up-to-date ID tags or a permanent microchip is a must!

  5. Keep decorations out of reach. Halloween decorations might be enticing to pets, but they can also be dangerous. Jack-o-lanterns with burning candles inside could burn your pet or start a fire if knocked over. Electrical cords and wires can also pose problems if your curious pet decides to start chewing. Although pumpkins are considered non-toxic for pets, they can still cause gastrointestinal problems.

  6. Reconsider a Halloween costume. Wearing a costume can be stressful and downright annoying for pets. You shouldn’t put your pet in a costume if it’s going to cause unnecessary stress. If you decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume doesn’t restrict movement, vision, or the ability to breathe or bark. You should always keep a close eye on a costumed pet. If your pet doesn’t enjoy being dressed up, you can always consider a festive bandanna!

Halloween pet safety is all about being proactive and aware. Keeping a close eye on your pet and giving him a quiet, safe space will go a long way. We hope your family and furry friends have a safe, happy Halloween!