I don’t know about you, but Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I love decorating my home to the nines, picking up decadent spooky treats, and carefully planning my costume from head to toe. But if you're a pet parent, you have to consider so much more than just yourself when prepping for the holidays.
Sure, there’s the fun of outfitting your pup or kitty in the cutest costume ever to make them blow up on TikTok, but more than that, the holiday can pose a lot of potential hazards to your pet. Halloween is a time when candy bowls are overflowing and if you decorate for trick-or-treaters, you might have an abundance of exposed wires lurking around your house.
It's important to do a safety check around your house and properly prepare for all of the spooky celebrations. Here are the top things to look out for if you’re celebrating Halloween and you have a pet in your home.
Halloween pet safety tips
1. Keep the candy out of reach
If you’re a long-time pet parent, you probably already know this, but chocolate can be toxic to dogs and cats. It’s more than just a sugar rush; there are actually two ingredients found in chocolate that cause irritation and dangerous side effects in pets if consumed. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are stimulants that are harmful to our furry friends. Although this is not toxic to humans, it is for pets, and the amount of toxicity depends on how much chocolate they consume and their weight, among other factors.
Make sure to keep any chocolate candies out of reach, even if they’re in a bowl with a lid on it. You never know; the dog or cat might be able to knock into the table and drop the bowl, spilling out treats. Make sure that each candy canister has a tightly fitting screw-top or latch lid, and keep individually wrapped chocolates out of reach from your pet. You don’t want to spend your Halloween making an unexpected trip to the vet.
2. Be mindful of dressing them up
We know how cute it is to dress up your furry friend in a cute Halloween costume (and snap loads of photos afterwards), but make sure you’re mindful of how your pet reacts when they’re sporting a costume. Some larger dogs might not care if a hot dog is strapped to their back, but smaller dogs might become irritated, hot, or uncomfortable. If this is the case for yours, snap a photo quickly, and give your pet relief from the costume.
It's also important to make sure costumes fit properly and are not too tight or have any pieces that could restrict breathing or get detached and be consumed.
3. Keep decorations & wires out of reach
Decorating for Halloween includes twinkle lights, fake cobwebs, and spider webs, among other things. If you’re decorating, make sure to do a double check of potential hazards to your pet. Don’t keep tangles of wires in corners of the floor. You can cover them with a wire cover or tape them so they don’t gather on the ground.
If you have a puppy who is still being trained and likes to chew on everything, only display cobwebs and other chewable decor out of reach for your pet so they’re not tempted to chow down on something they shouldn’t be eating.
4. Be careful during trick-or-treat
Whether you keep your dog at home while trick-or-treating or take them with you, there are a few things you should be aware of. If your pets are at home, make sure they’re restrained away from the door so they’re not startled by trick-or-treaters. You also want to make sure they don’t accidentally get out while you’re opening and closing the door.
If your pet goes walking with you during trick-or-treating, make sure to scour the ground for unidentified foods and candies. Keep your pet on a leash close to you and have them wear a reflective shirt or collar so other cars and pedestrians can see them. If they’re off-leash, make sure they are well trained and won’t run up to or scare children.
If you keep all of these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a great Halloween celebration. If you have questions or concerns about Halloween and your pet, reach out to the experts at Pawp. We're here 24/7 and no appointment is necessary.