Halloween Safety for Your Pet

Halloween can be a fun time for humans, the dressing up, the treats and all the spooky tricks we play make for a festive holiday each year. But for animals, Halloween can be scary. There are a few things pet owners will want to keep in mind as the spooky holiday approaches.


For many animals, doorbells act as an alarm that a stranger is at the door. Constant doorbell ringing can be stressful for your pet, and that stress can create stress-related symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting. If you know your pet and repeated doorbell ringing causes them anxiety, we suggest you take measures to help them avoid the constant stress of the ringing doorbell by putting them in a room far away from the front door, perhaps a garage or kids’ room where they find comfort.


Some pets don’t take kindly to strange people, especially strangers wearing scary masks or intimidating costumes. If your pet normally has an aversion to strangers, it would be fair to anticipate that they won’t like strangers dressed in costumes. Taking your pet out trick-or-treating could not only cause them stress, but it could result in your pet feeling scared to the point where they might bite someone who they feel threatens their safety. Keeping your pet home might be the best remedy for both you and your animal.


A lot of people use open flame candles in their jack-o-lanterns and if those candles are anywhere near your pet, it can be a fire hazard and threaten your pet’s safety. Consider their wagging tails, or their quick, sudden movements if they are trying to hide from the chaos, which could result in their fur accidentally brushing by an open flame. LED candles and other battery-operated candles might be a better option so your pet stays fire-safe.


Small toys are often given out to trick-or-treaters, in lieu of candy. Beware these toys don’t end up on the floor or near your animal’s reach, they can easily be mistaken for food and could get caught in their throat or lodged in their stomach.


Candy, gum, snacks, and chocolate are all part of Halloween fun. But for your pets, these items can cause harm, even death, if ingested. Chocolate toxicity can lead to tremors, increased heart rate, vomiting, nervousness, diarrhea and sometimes death. If you notice your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, you’ll want to get them to a veterinarian right away.


Pet costumes can be fun and adorable, but please remember to never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing a costume. The elastics and buttons can be hazards and your pet could also become entangled in the clothing. Some pets will try to eat the costumes, and this can cause all kinds of trouble for you and your pet.

Keeping your pets safe and sound during Halloween doesn’t have to be a big task. Before the big day, jot down a few of your concerns and figure out a way to avoid the stressful situations the night of trick-or-treating. Don’t wait until the moment becomes stressful, instead, have a plan for your pet and share that plan with your friends and family so they can help keep your pet safe. Contact your veterinary clinic if you have any questions or want help with your pet safety plan.