Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Heyyyyy to all the little ghouls and goblins out there. Halloween is just a few short weeks away. This holiday is such a fun time for children and adults alike, however, it can often be a tragic one for our furry family members.

A few safety tips to keep in mind as the holiday approaches:

1) Costumes – They are above and beyond adorable to us but our furry friends may not share the same view. In fact, they can be downright terrifying to a dog/cat. A little tyke disguised, banging on your door and shouting can send even the mildest tempered pet into a terrifying scramble which leads us to point #2. A scared pet CAN also bite.
2) Escape – Your terrified pet could accidentally bolt out the door when you open it. Even if your pet isn’t frightened, having the door opened and closed repeatedly gives him/her the opportunity to dash out.
3) Treats – Those tasty morsels are just as tempting to your pet as they are to you! Candy has NO PLACE in a pets’ diet. It can cause serious gastric upset as well as toxicities (especially chocolate and xylitol). Foreign body obstructions can also be a concern if your pet was to ingest the candy wrappers. This can happen to both dogs & cats. Keep all candy safely out of reach.
4) Decorations – Halloween decorations also pose another risk for gastric obstruction and/or toxicities. Keep a close eye on your pet to ensure they are not chewing on/eating the holiday décor.
5) Pets In the Yard – People can be cruel and think it’s fun to tease, torment, injure and perhaps even steal a pet that’s confined in a backyard. On that note, black cats are at high risk for death or injury by those who are superstitious (yes, this really DOES happen!) It’s for this very reason that most animal shelters will NOT adopt out black cats during the month of October. It’s best to keep black cats indoors for a couple weeks before as well as after the big Halloween holiday to help ensure their safety. Dogs should be kept indoors and perhaps confined to a room or kennel during the Trick-Or-Treat event.
6) Jack-o-Lanterns – If these are lit with candles, they pose the risk of being knocked over causing burns/fire.

Stay safe everyone and have fun!


Written by: Lisa Michalik, RVT