Phone: 718-704-6821



This article describes information on how we can keep our pets safe on Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners

It’s that time of year again – Halloween is in the air and many people are looking forward  to celebrating with costumes, treats and decorations. It’s important to remember however, that many of the things that make this holiday so much fun for pet parents can actually be scary or even dangerous for our four-legged friends.

Here are a few Halloween pet safety tips to make sure that your furry family members stay safe and secure throughout the festivities.

Candy Concerns. Keep it Out of Reach

Remember, many of the delicious treats that you look forward to enjoying on Halloween are toxic to pets. Candies, gums, mints, baked goods and chocolate containing the "sugar free" sweetener Xylitol are potentially very poisonous. This sweetener may cause a rapid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs and possibly other species. Tinfoil or cellophane wrappers are also hazardous if swallowed.


Chocolate is Toxic to Pets

Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and in severe cases seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate consult your veterinarian.

Other candies such as lollipops and those with plastic components pose a danger if ingested. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines which is a life-threatening emergency.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested something harmful, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 ( a fee applies).

Costume Considerations

If your pet is a real ham he may love wearing a costume. However, dressing up can be traumatic for dogs or cats who have a strong preference for their birthday suits. Pets who are upset by wearing a full costume are sometimes more comfortable in a simple bandana or other minimal accessory. If your pet shows any sign of distress when trying on a costume don’t force him to wear it no matter how cute it is!


The Dangers of Decorations

Even decorations that are considered non-toxic (like corn or pumpkins) can still cause gastrointestinal upset if your pet decides to eat them. They can also be choking hazards or cause intestinal blockage if Fido or Fluffy ingest large enough pieces.

If your Halloween landscape includes lights or other electrical decorations you run the risk of your pet chewing them. If this happens he could damage his mouth on shards of glass or plastic or even receive a dangerous electrical shock. To protect pets from this danger make sure to keep wires and cords out of reach.

A carved pumpkin is a popular Halloween tradition but, do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire.


Keep Your Pets Inside on Halloween

Sadly, there are pranksters who will tease, injure, steal or even kill pets on Halloween. The safest place for your pets (especially if your family includes a black cat) is inside your home.

If you plan on entertaining trick-or-treaters keep pets in a part of the house away from the door. The sight of lots of strangers in costumes is potentially frightening for all but the most easy going of animals. In addition an open door gives them ample opportunity to dart out and get lost.

Before Halloween make sure that your pet’s ID tags are up to date. If you haven’t already you might also want to look into microchipping. If for any reason your furry family member does make an escape and becomes lost a collar and ID increase the chance that you’ll get him back quickly.


With a little planning and some practical precautions your whole family can enjoy a safe and not-so-scary Halloween.


Kimberly Dillon

Confident K9 Education 
8001 17th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 
Phone: (718) 704-6821
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