Halloween Pet Safety Dog chewing pumpkin.

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at Blue Valley Animal Hospital. We love to see our favorite people and pets celebrate! We also recognize that Halloween can be fraught with some unique dangers for our four-legged friends. Read on to learn our best pet safety tips for Halloween.

Spooky Snacks to Avoid

Halloween is all about treats, but there are definitely some snacks that you will want to prevent your pet from partaking in.

Chocolate ingestion can lead to serious consequences for pets. Lower doses may lead to hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, and a high heart rate. At higher doses heart arrhythmia, seizure, and even death can occur.

Raisins (and grapes) also hold hazards for our pets. Even small amounts can lead to kidney failure.

Also beware of xylitol, the artificial sweetener that is sneaking its way into many sugar-free treats and gums. Ingestion by pets can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and potential liver failure.

There are definitely some seasonal treats to share with your pets, though! This time of year is filled with love for pumpkin, which is a great source of fiber and beta carotene. Your pet, too, can partake in the pumpkin frenzy this Halloween.

  • Pumpkin seeds–If you are roasting up a batch of pumpkin seeds after carving jack-o-lanterns this holiday, pets can absolutely enjoy them with you in limited quantities.
  • Pumpkin biscuits–Many recipes for homemade dog treats use pumpkin as a main ingredient. Whip up a batch for your pooch using a recipe for pumpkin dog biscuits. Cats can join in the fun as well with a kitty-friendly treat recipe. Make any pet treat recipe festive with holiday-shaped cookie cutters. 
  • Cooked pumpkin–A tablespoon or two of canned or cooked pumpkin without added spices can make a tasty treat for both dogs and cats. Next time you are baking, be sure to share. 

Perilous Pet Dangers to Dodge

Besides scary snacks, there are other dastardly dangers lurking for pets during the Halloween season. Remember Halloween pet safety when it comes to:

  • Candy wrappers (ingestion can cause an intestinal obstruction)
  • Over-indulgence (too many treats are not a good thing)
  • Decorations like ribbons, fake spider webs, and tinsel 
  • Lit candles such as in jack-o-lanterns and wax melts
  • Glow sticks (ingestion of broken sticks can cause oral and stomach irritation)
  • Fear of costumes, which may lead to anxiety
  • Unattended alcoholic drinks
  • Opening your door for trick or treaters (a nervous pet may make a run for it)
  • Costumes for pets can be cute but need to be well thought out

Other Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Your pet is sure to enjoy the season if you remember our best pet safety tips for Halloween. 

  • Keep chocolate and other treats in a safe location to prevent accidental ingestion
  • Trash should be in a secure receptacle, ideally behind a door for more crafty critters
  • Avoid sharing candy with your pet
  • Be sure that your pet has a safe place like a crate to retreat to if Halloween parties and trick or treaters aren’t their jam
  • Make your pet visible in the dark with reflective tape or lights
  • Be sure that identification such as collar tags and microchip registration is current
  • Take time to be sure that wearing a costume doesn’t stress your pet
  • Be sure any pet costume does not restrict motion or visibility for your pet
  • Never leave a pet in a costume unattended
  • Secure wires and electrical cords safely from curious pets
  • Don’t force a pet who is anxious to partake in Halloween festivities–in this situation, party-poopers are okay
  • Put your pet upstairs or in another room for trick or treaters so that there is no chance of escape or nipping a spooky stranger who approaches

We hope that you enjoy this Halloween season with your pet. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Happy Howl-o-ween!