10 Tips for a Happy (and safe!) Halloween for Your Pets

They’re covered in hair, have anywhere from two to four legs usually, can be found under your bed, in lakes, or sometimes your closets. They aren’t monsters, they’re your dogs and cats! This may be the spookiest time of year for us and tons of fun, but remember this time of year can be downright scary for your pets. Here are our tips and tricks, sorry we’re out of treats, to keeping you, your pets, and your visitors safe this haunting season.


Adoptable Fernet is a wicked (sweet) little witch.


  1. Keep sweets and human treats out of reach! Chocolate and sugar free candies containing xylitol, including both candy and gum, can be poisonous to your cats and dogs. Another less common, but sometimes seen poisonous item this time of year in goody bags are raisins. Be sure to keep these items out of reach, but if your furry friend finds a way to them be sure to keep the wrapper when possible and call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or HomeAgain’s 24-Hour Support Hotline (1-888-466-3242) immediately.
  2. Keep pets indoors. Whether your pet usually has access to your yard or stays outside more often than not, it’s a safer bet for everyone if you keep them inside Halloween night. Many professionals even suggest doing so days before and after the holiday except when they are being strictly monitored. While many people love animals, unfortunately not everyone holds them as dear as most. Pets are often stolen, poisoned, injured, or even killed around Halloween so we recommend not giving them unsupervised visits to the outdoors for their safety.
  3. Create a safe place. Spooky “things” coming to their door can often cause a pet to flee, but we don’t want them to flee straight out your door! To avoid this be sure to create a safe place for your pet, whether it be putting them in their crate or closing them off in another room. If they don’t have access to an exit they can’t find themselves lost. You can even leave some music or a TV on to help drown out any excessive doorbell ringing, loud laughter, screams, or other ghoulish noises.
  4. Beware of Stranger Danger. Another reason to create a safe place for your pet is for your visitor’s, and ultimately your pet’s, safety from injury. If you have a shy, timid, or fearful pet all the extra stimulation and strangers coming to the door may cause them to react defensively. The last thing you want is for your cat or dog to scratch or bite someone meaning well out of fear. Not only will the human be injured but your pet becomes at risk for causing it.
  5. Don’t get burned. Decorating is fun, but be sure to keep candles and other open flames away from your pets. Not only can they burn themselves but they risk accidentally knocking a candle over and starting a fire.
  6. Watch out for tummy upsets. Pumpkins, corn, and other festive Fall plants are often used in decorating and aren’t necessarily poisonous, but too much of a good thing never ends well. These items if over consumed can cause gastrointestinal stress which leaves your pet uncomfortable and your carpet unmentionable.
  7. Lights, camera, action! Your pet is also at risk of injury from additional decorations such as lights and other electronically powered items so be sure to tuck cords away to avoid any chewing. In their minds it’s new, it’s shiny, maybe it moves, it must be perfect for chewing, but we know better and need to take precautions for them.
  8. Keep them comfy. Aww, aren’t you the cutest Captain Planet kitty there ever was? And you there are the most perfect little Wiener dog to ever wear a bun! No matter how cute or funny your pet’s costume in your mind is, be sure THEY are comfortable in it. They should be able to see, hear, eat/drink, move, & breathe comfortably in any costume or clothing you dress them in for the holiday. Also check to ensure there are no pieces to the costume that can be easily chewed off by them or any companions, human or otherwise, to avoid choking hazards and digestive issues. If your pet shows stress while in costume always take their word for it and spring for a festive bandanna or just their birthday suit for their health and happiness.
  9. ID Check. Be sure that your pet is wearing a collar with up to date ID tags just in case they make a great escape. Not only do collars with ID and/or rabies tags increase chance for return, many often help drivers spot your pet easier to avoid them should they be in the road. Microchips are another very important way to be reunited with your lost family member, but only when you keep your information up to date! Most shelters will scan animals for a chip upon intake and many vets will scan found pets for good Samaritans for free, so keeping your pet’s chip info up to date is key.
  10. Lastly, have fun! Whether you plan to spend the night with friends, passing out candy, or cuddling up watching scary movies with your furry family, be sure to have a fun and safe holiday by setting your pets up for success.

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