4 halloween pet safety tips

October 13, 2023 - 4 min read
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.
mummy cat

As Halloween rolls in with creepy decor and trick-or-treaters galore, we can't forget to keep our furry buddies out of harm's way. Let’s unveil four Halloween hazards and throw in some handy tricks to make sure the treats are both sweet and safe for our pets this year.

Cursed confections

Halloween is synonymous with a bounty of candy, which, while a treat for humans, can be a trick for our pets. The issues that can result from ingesting unsafe foods are far from a whimsical witch’s curse.

Little boy and his dog in costumes on bed celebrating halloween

  • Chocolate: This sweet is a known menace for dogs and cats, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, heart tremors, or worse.

  • Xylitol: A common sweetener in sugar-free candies, xylitol can cause insulin release, leading to liver failure in dogs.

  • Raisins: Often forgotten, raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts.

To keep your pets safe, store candy in pet-proof containers. If there are children in your home, explain why it’s important not to share their Halloween haul with their furry siblings. But that doesn't mean pets have to miss out on all the fun; just buy or make them their very own safe Halloween treats to enjoy.

Oh, and be ready with some general pet first aid knowledge and have your vet’s contact info handy for any spooky surprises that may arise.

Costume capers

Dressing up can be as much fun for pets as it is for people (as long as there are treats involved), but not all pets find masquerading amusing. Here’s how to keep the costume capers carefree:

Dog celebrating Halloween at home, dog is wearing costumes and enjoy in holiday.

  • Comfort: Make sure the costume is comfortable, doesn’t restrict movement, and is free of small parts that could be chewed off and choked on.

  • Costume Trials: Try the costume on your pet a few days in advance to see how they react.

  • Recognition: Make sure your pet is easily recognizable to prevent any potential frights or flights.

One other thing: If pets join in the trick-or-treating, proceed with caution. They should be on a leash or harness and wear collars with readable ID tags or be microchipped in case they run off or get loose. Bonus points for collars or leashes that glow in the dark, as walking with your pet at night is a whole other animal.

Your dog should be well-mannered on leash and shouldn't exhibit aggressive or reactive behaviors. (Your cat, too, if you're brave enough to train them to walk on a leash).

But honestly, even the most well-mannered pup can exhibit strange behaviors if they see Freddy Krueger approaching. We highly recommend keeping your pup and cat safe at home, not out and about.

Decor dangers

While spooky embellishments add to the festive fun at your house, they can harbor hidden hazards for our furry friends.

Here's a deeper dive into some common decor dangers and how to navigate them to keep your pets safe.

Cute small sleeping on halloween sign and pumpkin background. Pets and Halloween.

Electric cords

The dangling allure of electric cords can be too tempting for pets, especially curious cats and playful pups. When chewed or played with, these cords pose a risk of electric shock, which can result in burns or, in severe cases, fatal electrocution.

  • Use cord management products like cord concealers or wraps to keep cords out of sight and reach.

  • Unplug decorations when not in use to eliminate the risk of electric shock.

  • Consider using battery-operated decorations as a safer alternative.

Candles

The flickering flame of a candle can mesmerize pets, leading them into harm's way. Pets can easily knock over candles, causing burns or starting a fire.

  • Place candles in sturdy holders and keep them on high shelves or behind glass doors.

  • Consider using LED candles, which provide the same spooky ambiance without the dangers associated with open flames.

  • Never leave candles unattended, especially with pets around.

Decorative plants

The autumnal allure of Halloween often invites the use of decorative plants like autumn crocus and chrysanthemums. However, these plants can be toxic to pets if ingested.

  • Opt for pet-friendly plants or artificial plants to spruce up your Halloween decor.

  • Keep toxic plants well out of reach or in rooms where pets don't have access.

  • Familiarize yourself with common plant toxins and symptoms of poisoning in pets. If your pet eats a toxic plant, contact your vet or a pet poison helpline immediately.

By being vigilant and choosing pet-safe decorations, you can make sure that the haunted happenings remain fun and fright-free for the entire family—fur babies included.

Haunting hordes

The spooky season brings a parade of little ghouls and goblins knocking at our doors. While it's a treat for us, the constant doorbell ringing and unfamiliar faces can spook our pets. Here’s how to navigate the trick-or-treater traffic with your pet’s peace of mind in focus.

Costumed dog on a trick or treating adventure with kids

Create a Calm Zone

Establish a quiet (pet-proofed) room where your pet can retreat from the cacophony. Stock it with their favorite toys, comfy bedding, and some treats to keep them entertained. Playing soft music or white noise can also help mask the eerie echoes of trick-or-treating chatter.

Mind the Door

With the door opening and closing for candy-seeking ghouls, there’s a risk your pet might dash out. Make sure they're safely secured away from the entrance. If your pet is social and enjoys meeting people, keep them on a leash to prevent any accidental escapes or misadventures.

ID is key

Amidst the Halloween hustle, it's easier for pets to slip out unnoticed. They should wear collars with up-to-date ID tags. And if they’re microchipped, confirm your contact information is up-to-date. Having a recent photo handy is also a wise precaution for creating lost pet flyers, should the need arise.

Calming supplements or treats

If your pet tends to get anxious about unusual activities, consider offering them calming supplements or treats. If you've bought the ManyPets Wellness Plan, it could help cover the cost of a supplement that doesn't require a prescription. Consult with your vet to find a suitable option to keep your pet relaxed amidst the Halloween hullabaloo.

Hosting a Halloween party? Keep pets away from the festivities in a safe room, as masks and costumes can change how people look and smell to pets, making even familiar individuals appear frightening.

As the moon casts eerie shadows this Halloween, taking precautionary measures will ensure your pet can enjoy the haunted holiday safely.

Your furry friend might not understand the ghostly goings-on, but with your help, they can have a howl of a time without the frightful consequences. The spell for a happy Halloween is simple: a pinch of preparation, a sprinkle of supervision, and a cauldron full of care.

And if your pet gets into something that gives you a fright this Halloween, pet insurance may help cover the cost of treatment.


Leanna Zeibak
Content Manager

Leanna Zeibak is a Content Manager at ManyPets. In her spare time, she paints pet portraits and bakes far too many chocolate chip cookies.