Dog and Cat Safety Tips For A Spooktacular Halloween

Dog and Cat Safety Tips For A Spooktacular Halloween

Halloween is one of the most spooktacular times of the year. Parents, kids, and pets can have a great time celebrating the holiday together. However, Halloween also presents some particular challenges for pet owners, especially related to health and safety risks.

If you have a pet dog or cat, you may want to keep the following pet health and safety tips in mind as Halloween approaches. That way, you'll enjoy a Halloween that's pure fun and not one that's (actually) scary or painful for anyone involved. 


grey cat dressed up in witch costume with pumpkin

Be Mindful With Costumes

It can be fun to dress your dog up for Halloween. Putting a costume on your pet is okay, as long as its minimal, comfortable, and not dangerous in any way.

Test the costume on your pet before the night of the holiday. That way, if they hate it, you won't make them wear something that is uncomfortable for them or stresses them out.

Make sure there is nothing on the costume that the dog or cat could chew or swallow and choke on, and be sure to take the costume off your pet promptly if she exhibits signs of distress or discomfort.

If your dog or cat acts itchy in the costume or seems to be having an allergic reaction to the costume's fabric, take it off. You'll want to consult your vet. 


kids trick or treating with golden retriever

Be Careful About Candy

Candy is an integral part of the Halloween experience for most people, especially children. However, it can be one of the most dangerous parts of the occasion for your pet. If you're giving out candy to trick or treaters, make sure you keep it in a place where your pet can't get to it, such as a bowl in a cabinet or very high shelf.

If you have children who will be collecting candy throughout the night, warn them about not giving the candy to the cat or dog, since it can make them sick. You should also help kids find a place to stash their candy that is not accessible by their furry friends.

If your dog or cat DOES get into the candy, call the ASPCA animal poison control center right away at (888) 426-4435.  Or, call your vet if they have night time hours. 


black cat hissing sitting with pumpkins

Keep Pets Calm

During trick or treating hours, people could be coming to your home in a steady stream. Make sure you arrange to keep your pet where he'll stay calm and act appropriately around your visitors.

If your pet gets anxious when the doorbell rings, consider putting a sign up on your doorbell asking people to knock.

Alternatively, consider leaving a bowl of candy on the porch for trick or treaters to take from without knocking or ringing at all.

There are also several products that help your furry pal stay calm such as Pet Naturals Calming treats, Zesty Paws Calming Bites, and Shameless Pets Catnip and Chill. Put a few drops into their food before the trick or treating starts. You can also keep puppers calm with a Thunder Shirt.

The Spruce Pets has a list of their top calming picks for cats as well as their top calming aids for dogs.

And, if your pet can't handle having people come to your house at all, consider spending that evening somewhere that won't be getting trick or treaters, like at a park or at a friend's whose house is more remote/in a less kid-friendly area.


golden doodle with pumpkin treat bucket in mouth by front door

Keep Pets Indoors for the Night

Halloween transforms a normally quiet neighborhood into a stream of people in costume with flashlights and cars arriving to trick or treat in more populated areas.  This increased traffic can pose a hazard to cats who are used to being able to prowl around their neighborhood in the evenings. If your neighborhood gets busy on Halloween, consider keeping your furry feline indoors for the night

If you have a dog, ensure the front door gets closed after every trick or treater and that he won't bolt out the door every time you open it to hand out candy.  Keeping your dog on a leash for the evening could be a good solution to an escape artist doggo. If all that new activity is just too much for them, you might put them in a bedroom with some treats until trick or treating is over.


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