Pet owners love their little furry friends, and want to make the most out of taking them for a stroll this Halloween (and also for an excuse to dress them up a little). However, it’s important to keep these pet safety facts in mind when trick or treating.

The main acronym that the American Animal Hospital Association wants you to bare in mind this Halloween is F.E.A.R.

  • Food - Many toxic treats are given out to children, who may in turn feed their pets unknowingly.
  • Environment - Essentially you’ll want to keep your outdoor pets indoors during Halloween.
  • Attire - This depends solely on whether or not your pet likes playing dress up.
  • Recovery - Should you pet become lost, sick, or stressed out during Halloween, keep your veterinarian and local shelter numbers close by.
“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers 'tis near Halloween.” - Betsy Farrell


A little DIY spirit can accomplish a lot
A little paper mache goes far. Source: Parrot Aviary

When it comes to pet safety facts, most dog owners are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs. This is because it contains the chemical Theobromine, which humans can process but dogs cannot. So while it makes sense to keep chocolate out of your dog’s reach, it is also preferable to keep all candy away from your furry companion. You can never really be sure which ones are toxic to animals.

Halloween Pet Safety - ASPCA

Potentially, Halloween and animals can mix well so long as you’re careful and mind your pet. Even while you’re having fun, be sure to have preventative measures ready in case anything happens to your little fuzzy quadruped. The ASPCA recommends the following advice for any pet owners who want to celebrate Halloween activities while keeping their pets safe this year.

  • Be prepared for chocolate ingestion
  • Watch out for wires
  • Put candy away, locked and up high
  • Be prepared for glow stick ingestion
  • Test sedatives in advance
  • Be prepared for emesis (AKA vomiting)
  • Keep your pet identifiable and visible
  • Calm your pet
  • Make sure any costume is not a choking hazard

Keep Pets Away from Pumpkins

A little pumpkin doggo
Pumpkin patch dogs are an adorable Halloween costume. Source: Margaritaville

While eating pumpkin isn’t dangerous for most pets, eating old, moldy, or fermented pumpkins can pose digestive risks.

The AVMA halloween safety tips for pets includes a section on keeping your pets away from older Jack-o’-lanterns, or anything with a candle in it.

Because dogs are omnivorous however, you can certainly feed them the insides of a pumpkin after carving it.

Avoid Backyard Stress

Sometimes a wiener dog just wants some treats
Even the leash is made of hot dogs. Source: Social news daily

The main reason so much veterinary Halloween advice is insistent on keeping your pets indoors is because well, it is a night of mischief after all. Best case scenario a guard dog might bark their head off at all the potential intruders around the property. Worst case? A Halloween prank gone wrong could scare or injure your animals. So keep your pets inside, preferably in one of the more quiet parts of the house.

Tip: Invest in a good pet gate to keep your furry friend from running out the front door every time you open it.

Lost or Runaway Pets

If this dog looks like he doesn't have pride he'd be lion
This pooch looks so handsome with his mane. Source: Instructables

Unfortunately, veterinary clinics see an average 12% increase in calls and business on Halloween. It’s similar on the 4th of July. Furthermore there is strong evidence that pet abduction also increases during the holiday. Because of this, it is vital to keep your pet easily identifiable. To counter this Halloween warning for pet owners please outfit your pets with the following:

  • Keep pets inside and calm
  • Make sure all pets have ID tags
  • Preferably have microchips for your pets
  • Make sure all doors are closed
  • Put up an indoor gate

Pet Halloween Costume Safety

A little green doggie costume
Tiny punk rocker. Source: Kelly Mahan, Senior Editor at homeyou

There are also some guidelines when it comes to pet costume safety. Namely, making sure that your pet is comfortable while in costume. This largely depends on if your pet likes to be dressed up or not. Otherwise, follow these pet halloween costume safety tips.

  • Always keep the dog collar/ID tags visible
  • Sometimes less is more
  • Keep your pets close
  • Choose bright colors
  • Keep your pet’s head free
  • Keep your pet calm and comfortable
  • Be wary of choking hazards
  • Be wary of stressful clothing
  • Don’t limit movement

Any Halloween pet safety tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more great tips and inspiration!

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