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7 Halloween pet safety tips all pet parents should learn for a stress-free spooky season

Essential Halloween pet safety tips to keep your fur baby relaxed this October 31

The spookiest night of the year can be just as fun for your furry friend as it is for you or your kids, though it may take some planning to ensure a happy and safe pet on Halloween. From moving the candy to double-checking your decorations, there’s a lot to be done! Luckily, we’re here to help you get a head start on all the fun with a few Halloween pet safety tips.

Whether your fur baby has a wagging tail, a sweet purr, or colorful feathers, you can make this Halloween their best yet. Grab a pumpkin spice latte — it’s time to get spooky as we go over seven essential Halloween safety tips that all pet parents should follow.

A black and white Border Collie wearing a skeleton costumes sits outside in a yard of autumn leaves
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Don’t leave your dog outside on Halloween night — they may be frightened!

With the exception of outdoor cats, who are more than used to the sights and sounds of the neighborhood, pets should stay inside on Halloween night. Hanging out in the yard makes it easier for a dog or other four-legged friend to escape out of excitement, curiosity, or even fear. And with Halloween being the ideal time for pranks and scares, you never know what your dog might be frightened of.

Even if your pup or pet doesn’t escape, they may be under immense stress if they find themselves alone in a yard while hearing something spooky. Instead, keep them in a small space indoors where they have enough space to roam but not enough to destroy the house. If they have a dog crate they use as a safe space, tonight may be the perfect time to use it.

Cute cat in Halloween costume
Brandon Griggs / Unsplash

Keep Halloween candy away from your pets by whatever means necessary

This time of year is full of delicious candy treats — for people, anyway. Chocolate, gummies, and other candies are poisonous to pets, though, so you should take extra caution to keep them somewhere your buddy has no chance of reaching. Storing candy in an airtight container is another smart option, especially if your furry friend can climb, fly, or chew through bags. If you ever suspect that your dog ate some Halloween candy, there’s a lot you can do to keep the situation from getting dire!

A curly brown poodle mix wears jack-o'-lantern glasses and poses next to some pumpkins
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Plan for knocks on the door with training, desensitization, or moving away from the door

If you have a pet who goes wild when someone rings the doorbell, hosting trick-or-treaters can be tough. You can always ask your dog to spend a few hours in their crate or a small enclosed area (baby or pet gates are perfect for this), or you can keep your buddy on a leash and walk them with you to and from the door. Doing the latter may help desensitize your pet, which can lead to calmer reactions in the future. However, it might be more of a hassle for you.

A small dog in a ghost costume stands with a pumpkin treat bucket in his mouth
otsphoto / Adobe Stock

Don’t force your pet into a Halloween costume purely for your own enjoyment.

As adorable as they may look, your four-legged friend may not enjoy wearing a costume. It is what it is! A stressed-out animal can experience all kinds of mental and physical setbacks, including injuries from trying to escape their clothes in a panic, so it’s best not to force them into a dog’s costume on Halloween.

Costumes don’t provide any benefit besides making you smile, so it’s really not worth your pet’s stress. Besides, you can always try a more comfortable alternative like a bat wing dog harness or a cute Halloween bandana for your dog.

A puppy dressed in a fluffy pumpkin costume
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Make sure your pet is identifiable and visible, even if you’re not planning on taking them outside

Whether your buddy will be leaving the house on All Hallow’s Eve, they should have a secure, up-to-date ID tag on their collar. This will help bring your pet home to you as quickly as possible in an emergency — plus, tags can be a cute fashion accessory.

Whether you invest in a reflective collar, leash light, or another type of illumination, your dog should be easy for vehicles and onlookers to see. This is an extra-important step if you decide to bring your furry friend trick-or-treating — more on that below.

A French bulldog wearing an orange witch hat looks up at the camera
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Take extra precautions if you choose to bring your dog trick-or-treating this Halloween

Gathering candy on Halloween night is a holiday staple, but it can get a bit chaotic with your pup around. With more distractions at the ready, it’s easier for your dog to get away with naughty behaviors — like stealing something icky off the ground.

When out and about, you’re also increasing the likelihood of running into possible triggers: other dogs, large costumes, or even scary yard decorations. If your dog is easily startled, they may want to sit this one out.

A greyhound and a woman wearing matching witch hats

Keep candles, decorations, and cords where teeth can’t reach

This tip is important in the weeks leading up to Halloween as well as the night of, especially if you like to carve and light jack-o’-lanterns. Fire is a huge safety hazard for pets, so you should use real candles only if you’re confident your dog can’t reach the pumpkin or knock it over.

As for electric decorations, cords are probably the biggest danger. They’re easily chewable thanks to their small size, and if you’re not careful, they can be all too easy for curious jaws to find. Instead of risking a harmful accident, secure cords where your dog won’t be able to chew them, or at least tape over them for an extra layer of safety. If you’re worried about accidents, a ‘no potty’ spray or another deterrent method may help.

If you keep these things in mind this Halloween, everyone in your family is in for a fantastic holiday. Just don’t forget to have fun, too! Whether you All Hallow’s Eve it out and about or snuggle on the sofa with your furry friend, be safe, and don’t forget to snap some photos!

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Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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