Halloween Pet Safety Tips

black cat with a pumpkin

Halloween is a wonderful holiday to celebrate for adults, children and now even our pets are able to get in on the fun! However, just like your human children you want to make sure that your furry babies are kept safe during the holiday. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts on keeping your pet safe during Halloween!

  • DO – Be sure that your pet has proper and update identification in case they happen to get loose. Your dog or cat has the best chance of being returned to you if they have a collar with your up to date address and phone number on the tag. Better yet, make sure your pet is microchipped and that the information on your chip is up to date.
  • DON’T – Feed your pet candy! Chocolate in all forms and in any quantity is extremely toxic to dogs as is an artificial sweetener called xylitol (found in many products that art labeled sugar free). Keep all sweets out of reach, and if your pet happens to accidentally get into your candy stash, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • DO – If you decide to dress your pet up for the holiday, it is best to do a test run a few days or even a week before- put your pet in their costume at home to see how they react. If they seem irritated or try to take it off, you may want to forgo the costume. The fit of the costume is also important- too tight and it can cut off air circulation, too loose and your pet may become irritated and try to rip it off.
  • DON’T – Leave candles where your pet can get too, particularly if you have cats. Cats are very intrigued by the flickering flame of a candle, and can burn themselves or risk knocking it over and start a fire. Instead, choose electric or battery operated candles.
  • DO – If your cat goes outside, it would be best to keep them inside several days before and several days after Halloween. This is especially if you have a black cat, as they are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. Because of this, many shelters will not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
  • DON’T – Unless your pet is extremely social and well behaved, do not let your pet roam freely around your home. A pet roaming around a crowded house that has people constantly coming and going will be a nightmare because you cannot guarantee that someone won’t leave the door open a little too long, causing your pet to get out. You also cannot guarantee that your pet won’t eat or drink things that they shouldn’t. Your best bet is to cordon off your pet in a quiet room with a bed, food, water, and their favorite toy.
  • DO – Keep ribbons and any type of dangling, sparkly decoration out of reach of your pet, particularly in the case of cats. The rule of thumb is if it resembles string then it should not be left alone with your cat. This is because it can cause intestinal blockages if eaten, and they can become tangled in it which could cut off air circulation to the rest of the body.
  • DON’T – Let wires or electrical cords be in an area where pets can get them. Pets can suffer electric burns or shock if they chew on them, and small puppies and kittens can get tangled in them and choke. Kittens are especially susceptible since they love anything that resembles string.
  • DO – Remember to have a happy Halloween!

Kristen Herbert has been a veterinary technician for 8 years.  She is very knowledgeable on canine and feline behavior, medicine, and diseases.