How Do You Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween?

By Rebecca Vitkus
pets safe on halloween

There are few sights more adorable than a cat dressed like a pumpkin or a princess puppy. However, with great cuteness comes great responsibility! To keep your pets safe on Halloween, use these tips to make your pet’s safety a primary focus when joining in the Halloween festivities.

Dos and Don’ts

DON’T store the treats where pets can reach them. Halloween candy — chocolate, in particular — is extremely hazardous for both dogs and cats. Any sweet treat containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can also be dangerous to your pet’s health. Lesser known toxins include grapes and raisins, and even glow sticks and candy wrappers should be kept out of reach. If your pet does consume a toxic treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

DO remember to keep a protective eye on your black cats, especially if they wander outdoors. Untruthful myths that associate black cats with dark forces have become familiar in our culture, making these kitties a target for mischievous Halloween tricksters. If possible, keep your cats indoors, providing them with all the love and care they need rather than unwanted attention from insensitive pranksters.

DON’T let pets near any open flames. Although jack-o’-lanterns don’t always display grimaces and scowls, they can be a scary sight if your curious kitten gets too close to the candle. If you choose to illuminate your pumpkin decor, exercise caution to prevent your pet from being burned by the festive flames. Also keep wires, electrical cords and other fire hazards out of the way.

DO keep animals away from the door. Unfamiliar noises can cause excessive stimulation for your pets, so remember to help them stay calm and collected. With every ring of the doorbell or “trick or treat” cry, your dogs and cats are susceptible to being startled and acting out. If you are spending the night at home, consider putting up a baby gate to keep Fido out of the trick or treat action and alleviate his anxiety.

Costumes for your furry friends

Although playing dress-up with Cleo and Ace can provide hours of laughter for you and
your family, it is important to ensure that your pets are comfortable in their costumes. These outfits should never restrict movement or obstruct the ability to breathe. Only place your pet in Halloween attire if they seem to enjoy it, as wearing a costume may cause stress to pets who would rather strut around the neighborhood in their “birthday suits.”

Whether your pet dons a tiara and a tutu or chooses to dress down for the occasion with a simple bandana, always remember to make sure your dog or cat is properly identified with an ID tag, greatly increasing your chances of reuniting with your fluffy friend if you become separated. If you do take your pets for a festive stroll, remember that even well-behaved pets can become spooked around large numbers of children who may also feel uneasy around animals.


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