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Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Halloween safety tips for pets

Imagine going outside and finding a bunch of strangers dressed in weird clothes, laughing and shouting and running around. Some people don’t even look human, and most of them are strangers. And they are on your porch! That’s how your dog or cat sees Halloween. Add in a dark night and the flickering light of Jack-o-lanterns and you have the perfect excuse for your pets to bolt or suffer an anxiety attack. Halloween is creepy, spooky fun for kids of all ages, but it can be upsetting to pets. These Halloween safety tips for pets will ensure that your pets will get through what can be a frightening holiday safely and with less drama.

Keep Your Pets Close on Halloween Night

If your pet doesn’t like strangers and has an aversion to noise, be sure there is a room where she can safely relax without being upset about the constant march of trick-or-treaters at the front door. Leave her a few favorite toys to occupy her as well as fresh water.

If your pet will be free in the house, be sure you always check before opening the door to trick-or-treaters. A nervous dog or cat can quickly slip out the door and disappear into the night.

Do NOT let your pet out on Halloween night or the nights leading up to it unless she is on a leash walking with you or another responsible person. Some pranksters think it is fun to antagonize stray pets. Don’t put your pet in a situation where they could be terrorized or seriously injured.

Help Your Pets Relax

Some pets suffer from severe anxiety when things strange, as they will on Halloween. Giving your pet a holistic calming aid such as Rescue Remedy for pets can help calm them. Other options may be a ThunderShirt or a mild, prescription medication prescribed by your veterinarian. Playing music your pets enjoy or distracting them with a television program can also work. The key is to keep the evening as normal as possible for your pets so that they don’t get too over-excited or apprehensive.

Be Aware of Other Halloween Safety Issues

Make sure that electrical cords, decorations and other items are safely out of reach so that your pets aren’t tempted to chew on them or try to eat them. Speaking of eating, keeping the Halloween treats out of reach is a must. Chocolate is dangerous for pets and some candies may include ingredients such as xylitol, which is poisonous to animals. Other hazards include candles that can ignite a swishing tail or be knocked over. If you want safer Jack-o-lanterns, use LED tealights in place of actual votive candles.

If you plan to dress your pet up in a Halloween costume, make sure it is safe, flame-retardant and comfortable. Cuteness may be a consideration, but it shouldn’t be the first or only consideration. Check out our post about Halloween safety and pet Halloween costumes for more guidelines.

Even if you are hyper-vigilant, a pet may slip out of the house while you aren’t looking. In case this happens, your pets should be properly tagged with current content information, a valid pet license and any other crucial information so that they can be returned to your quickly if they get lost. Halloween safety for your pets is your responsibility as a pet owner. Be sure your pets are safe and happy this Halloween.








  1. The Daily Pip

    October 2, 2017 1:13 pm

    Great tips. We are especially careful with our black cat, Rosie, on Halloween. She stays upstairs in our bedroom for the day and night. She’s deaf so she doesn’t hear the doorbell or commotion outside.

    • Lori

      October 3, 2017 5:26 pm

      I’ve had black cats in the past and I always keep them inside near Halloween as well. Most people are kind, but you never know when a black cat could run into trouble during Halloween. It’s a shame to have to worry about it, but it’s better to err on the side of caution to protect your pets!

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