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7 Halloween pet safety tips all pet parents should follow

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 Halloween pet. 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 the festivities with a few Halloween pet safety tips.

Whether your fur baby has a wagging tail, a sweet purr, or large front teeth, you can make this Halloween their best yet. Grab a blanket and some tea — it’s time to get cozy as we go over seven essential Halloween safety tips that all parents should follow.

1. Don’t leave your dog outside on Halloween

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 hear.

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.

2. Keep Halloween candy away from your pets

This time of year is full of delicious candy treats — for people, anyway. Chocolate, dummies, and other candies are poisonous to dogs and other animals, though, so you should take extra caution to keep them somewhere your pet has no chance of reaching. Storing candy in an airtight container is another smart option, especially if your furry friend can climb or chew through bags.

A curly brown Poodle mix wears jack-o-lantern glasses and poses next to some pumpkins

3. Plan for knocks on 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) during the busiest times, 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.

4. Don’t force your pet into a costume

As adorable as they may look, your four-legged friend may not enjoy wearing a costume; and in cases like this, it’s best not to force them. A stressed-out animal can experience all kinds of mental and physical setbacks, including injuries from trying to escape their clothes in a panic.

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.

5. Make sure your pet is identifiable and visible

Whether or not 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

6. Take extra precautions if bringing your dog trick-or-treating

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.

7. Keep candles 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 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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