Pet Trick Or Treat Safety

Whether your pet is staying home while you hand out candy to the neighborhood kid or is going out with you and your family to enjoy the festivities, be sure to keep these tips in mind.

At home:

  • Keep Fido or Kitty out of the candy!  Chocolate is commonly known as poison to both dogs and cats, but they don’t know it!  The sweet stuff is too tempting.  On top of that, most sugar-free candies use xylitol.  You may have seen xylitol in your chewing gum or candies and while it’s fine for humans, it can be a potentially fatal poison to your cat or dog.  Be sure that your pet has no access to these treats!
  • Make sure your pet cannot escape as your door opens to greet trick-or-treaters.  Pets are at a higher danger on Halloween as many scary lawn displays or pranksters could hurt them.
  • Give your pet proper ID tags and have them microchipped (in case they do get out)!
  • Make sure your pet has gone potty prior to the start of trick-or-treating and then bring them inside in a safe, quiet room.
  • Keep any territorial or aggressive pets away from the door, since all the traffic and door-bell ringing can be highly stressful.
  • Reward them for good behavior during this routine-breaking day.
  • Keep some pet treats by the door in case a trick-or-treater comes by with a service animal (in which the treat would be saved for later) or other animal companion.

Out for festivities:

  • Whether you’re out at a party with your pet or watching your kids go trick-or-treating, make sure your pet is on a short leash.  Your pet does not need to be on a 10-foot leash during all the commotion.
  • Be sure your pet doesn’t eat any candy dropped on the ground by children.
  • Don’t force your pet near any spooky lawn displays or costumes.
  • Do not let small children take a pet out for Halloween; your dog or cat may run away or bite another child in fear.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume (if they have one) is comfortable and does not restrict any range of motion, vision, hearing, breathing, barking, or meowing.  Do not allow them in their costumes unsupervised, as they may bite off a piece and eat it.
  • Do not allow other guests or trick-or-treaters to give your pet candy, food, or other treat.  Carry some appropriate treats with you and if someone wants to give a treat to your pet for being well behaved, allow them to use one of your own treats.
  • Read your pet’s body language.  If your pet seems stressed or anxious (heavy panting, tail tucked, eyes wide, etc.), remove them from the situation.  Take them home if necessary.

We want everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween, pets included!  How do you include your pet during the spooky holiday?  Let us know in the comments below!