Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. We would like to think that you would not put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip (that has been fully registered) can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
And who says kids get to have all the fun! If your dog enjoys visiting around the neighborhood, by all means take him along! Please make sure that your pet is social and kid friendly before venturing out. Also make sure to have something reflective on your dogs collar if he will not be in costume. Above all have fun and be safe!