Halloween 2022: Pet safety tips

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest night of the year, but it can be stressful and dangerous for your pets.

From strangers at your front door to candy that can be deadly, here are a few tips and tricks to help prepare your home and your pets for Halloween.

Shift your evening routine

If you take your dog on evening walks, make sure that you take them out before the sun goes down on Halloween. Not only will that help them burn any extra energy, but it will also prevent them from being frightened or stressed by mask-wearing children and adults. Also, this early walk reduces their chances of finding and eating stray pieces of candy.

Make sure your decorations are pet-proof

Carved jack-o-lanterns might be the obvious thing to keep your pets away from, but anything you plug in that night could be tempting to a kitten or a puppy to nibble on. According to Pet MD, one way to protect the cords is to use fish tank tubing to shield the cord from your curious critter.

Many festive decorations can easily get stuck in your pet’s intestinal tract, including spider webs or pumpkin rinds. It’s best to keep everything above “pet level” so they don’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.

Front door activity

Your pet will likely be very confused by the constant doorbell ringing and strange voices coming from even stranger-looking humans.

Some pet owners prefer to put their pets in a safe room for the night with music or a TV away from the chaos. This not only helps keep your dog from greeting every visitor, but also helps them from running out the door during peak trick-or-treating hours.

Because the possibility of escape is higher on Halloween, ensure that all the proper ID is on your pet in case they run out the door.

Watch the treats

Keep all of your Halloween candy stashed before the big day. On Halloween, make sure that bowls are not on the ground or where a pet can get to them.

Keep an eye on children, too! Kids sometimes don’t know the risks that a treat might have on your pet. Watch children carefully and make sure they aren’t giving your pets some of their stash.

Be especially careful with xylitol and chocolate. These can be deadly if consumed by your pet.

Pet costumes

If you dress up your pet, test it before Halloween. They might be on the best behavior wearing a hat or mask for a quick photo, but wearing a costume for an extended period might stress them out.

A few days before Halloween, test the costume to see if they are truly comfortable. Your pet might give subtle cues that they don’t like it by looking sideways, tucking their tail, hunching or folding back ears.

If you think the costume is causing stress, consider something simple, like a Halloween-themed bandana around the neck instead.

One last preparation is to write down the phone numbers of your veterinarian, a 24-hour vet hospital and the ASPCA Poison Control Center which is 888-426-4435.