Like people, every dog is different. Some dogs love the energy and excitement of the holiday, while other will be stressed by the chaos and interactions with strangers. However your pet responds, Halloween safety for dogs is important. (For our tips on Christmas safety for dogs, click here.)
Keep Halloween candy away from pets.
Our pets are part of our families, and sometimes we forget that they are not actually human! A big part of Halloween safety for dogs is keeping candy and other treats out of reach for them. We all know chocolate isn’t good for dogs, but we also have to watch out for grapes/ raisins, caramel apples, candy corn, even macadamia nuts or walnuts. And be extra vigilant with sugar free candy, because xylitol is particularly harmful to dogs, and can even be fatal. And make sure your kids know the importance of not sharing their favorite Halloween treats with their pets!
See our post on Human Foods that are Toxic to Dogs.
SPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline: (888) 426-4435
Choose an appropriate pet costume.
Pets are extra adorable in cute Halloween costumes! But our dogs’ safety and comfort always comes first. Think about your dog’s personality and what kind/ how much of a costume they might tolerate. Make sure the Halloween costume fits properly and that your dog can still move and breathe. Watch out for baggy costumes that can make your dog trip and injure themselves. Avoid costumes that are too tight and might limit your dog’s movement. Choose Halloween costumes that don’t have zippers, loose pieces, or metal buttons that could hurt your pet or that they could chew on or choke on.
Decorate with Halloween safety for dogs in mind
Halloween spiders and pumpkins might look like a chew toy to your pet, so make sure to keep them out of reach to avoid choking. (Pumpkin itself is non-toxic for your dog – we actually have a pumpkin-flavored dog treat in our store!) And don’t forget about your excited pet’s tail wagging when decorating. You don’t want glass decorations that can be knocked over, or worse, candles (like those in some jack-o-lanterns) that can be tipped and cause fires.
Trick-or-Treating can be stressful for dogs.
When planning for Halloween safety for your dog, don’t forget about all the adorable strangers who will be visiting your home. To help your pet manage the stress of all of that chaos, try creating a safe, quiet space for them in your home. Bring your dog inside before any visitors arrive. Make their space calm and comfy with their bed, food/ water, pee pads, and their favorite toys to keep them happy.
Make sure your dog has proper identification.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Halloween safety for dogs is the risk of your pet going missing. After the 4th of July, Halloween is the night when most dogs go missing. You’re opening and closing the door all night, and all the trick or treating can be scary and stressful for even the most well behaved dogs. Make sure that, if your dog does get out, they have their identification on them and updated so they can be brought back home safely.
And if you want to take your dog out trick-or-treating, make sure to have something that lights up on your pet. You can get them a lighted collar or tag, and even a light up leash. (And bonus points if you can make a part of their costume light up!)