Halloween Safety Tips

October 2019

One of the most rewarding things on Halloween may be to dress up and go trick-or-treating especially if you have children. Do you typically take your pets too or do they stay at home? On this fun-filled night, be sure to follow these five easy safety tips so that your pets are included in your celebration the right way. Preparing your pets for Halloween can make a huge difference in your household and neighborhood once those visitors start ringing your doorbell with those scary costumes or if you decide to take your pet out.

San Antonio Pets Alive! alumni, Max. Photograph by Pixel Reflex Media

Let Your Pet Pick Their Costume.

Your dog or cat may not like to wear what you pick out for them. It may be super cute or make them look like the “scariest” animal on the block, no doubt; however, there are a few safety concern to be aware of when dressing your furry friend. First, ensure that they are able to breathe easily if you are putting something on them that goes over their head or around their neck. Most pets don’t much like these types of costumes, so if you find that yours is getting stressed or anxious, try an alternative like a festive Halloween bandana or themed dog collar and/or leash. Also, when helping your pet into their costumes, remember to check for any loose fabric that can either cause a choking hazard or may any other injury to the animal when they move. For instance, if that really cute hood of your dog’s costume sits too low, causing his/her line of sight to become difficult or strained, they may run into something and injure themselves.


Have Pet Treats Available.

For many pet owners, you know that chocolate is bad news for your animal. If you plan on handing candy out to trick-or-treaters, ensure that your candy is out of reach from your dogs and cats. If your pet is along for the ride with your trick-or-treater, help them keep the candy elevated and not close to their mouth. Other Halloween candies can be just as harmful like candy corn (or other high sugar candy), chocolate-covered raisins, candy wrappers, bite-size hard candy, and sugar-free gum. All of these may cause severe gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting or organ damage. If your pet ingests any of these by accident, contact your vet immediately or the 24/7 animal poison control center at (855) 764-7661. If you must give your pets something for Halloween, ensure you are prepared with your own dog or cat treats that are healthy for them to eat. This will make them happy and allow for a stress-free night.


Your Decorations May Look Like Toys.

Try to raise any dangling decorations or spread out cluttered decorations so that there is minimal wiring and/or items for your furry friends to get into. That is just asking for trouble, right?! Remember, you see them as decorations, but your pets may see them as bright and colorful toys to play with. Be mindful of anything that operates with candles as this could quickly become a fire hazard if knocked over. Avoid all clustered decorations if possible, if strolling with your pet on Halloween, so as not to get tangled up in anything that could cause injury.


Practice Calm and Social Behavior with Your Pet.

Last tip on this post is about practicing calming behavior with your pets. Even dogs and cats get scared of a visitor dressed up in a scary costume! You know your family, so of course, you’ll also know the level of anxiety or stress other elements may cause like loud noises or how your pet reacts to the doorbell. If your furry friend gets really nervous, try moving them to another room in the house where it is dark and quiet. You could also practice in advance on positive behavior either when visitors approach your doorstep or when walking while you both are outside of your home.


It is always important to ensure that your pet is properly identified as well with either a tag with your information on their collar and/or microchip. We understand that some pets can be master escape artists, especially when they are scared so keeping a vigilante eye out and being prepared with these easy pet safety tips will keep you and your furry four-legged family member happy and safe on Halloween.


This blog post was generously written by Lauren Jones.