Halloween Safety Tips For Pets

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It never ceases to amaze me that people in my town decorate for Halloween as much (if not more) than they do for the winter holidays. Cobwebs, tombstones, orange lights, and pumpkins adorn the bushes, yards, and front porches of houses up and down the streets of my neighborhood. And while it is all fun and games for the children and adults on Halloween night, it can be a scary sight for our furry friends. Read our tips for how to help your pet survive Halloween in one piece…

Candy is NOT for pets.

Most of us know not to let our dogs get ahold of chocolate, but did you know the artificial sweetener, xylitol (often found in sugar free candy) is also poisonous to dogs? Candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard as well. Keep candy bowls up high, out of your pets’ reach and make sure children know to pick up after themselves and not to feed candy to your pets. Check out Petfinder’s article, Dangerous Foods for Dogs for other foods that can be fatal if your pets ingest them.  Some may surprise you!  I had no idea avocados can be poisonous to dogs.  

Do not leave pets, especially black cats outside.

PetMD’s article, 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets recommends keeping your black cat inside several days before and after Halloween. The article mentions that all animals can be at risk from pranksters on  and around Halloween, but black cats are even more at risk.. 

Keep pets away from the door.

Once trick-or-treaters start arriving, it can be difficult to keep your pet from darting out the door. According to veterinarian Marty Becker, “Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to get lost.”  Read the ABC News article How to Make Halloween Safe for Pets for more info on keeping your pet safely indoors on Halloween night. If your pet is super sensitive to the sound of the doorbell, spare him the anxiety and find a nice quiet place for him to hang out. You may wish to play music or turn on the tv to muffle the sounds of people coming to the door.

Keep Halloween decor to a minimum.

Make sure to supervise your pet around lit pumpkins and decorations such as corn and real pumpkins. If your pet ingests corn or pumpkin flesh, it can cause a blockage. Becker cautions that cats are especially at risk because their tails can catch fire if they get too close to a lit pumpkin.

Have a dress rehearsal. 

Have your pet try on his Halloween costume before the big night, to make sure he is comfortable in it. Petfinder’s article, Halloween Pet Tips recommends skipping masks altogether because they can obstruct vision.

Make sure your pet is properly identified.

Microchip, tattoo, or tag your dog in case he gets lost. PetPartners can help offset this routine care expense with their Wellness Plan. Consider enrolling in an accident and illness pet insurance policy to protect against unexpected vet bills!

Follow our tips and you and your furry counterparts should have a boo-tiful time this Halloween season!

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