Pet Blog

Pets don't need tricks or treats on Halloween

Posted October 18, 2014 9:06 a.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2014 6:23 a.m. EDT

Chef Winslow

— Holidays that feature a lot of noise – think Fourth of July – are often tough on family pets, but Halloween can also be a trying time for your four-legged family members.

The constant "ding-dong" at the door can put pets on edge, and Halloween is also a time when some people are cruel to animals. Cats are especially targeted, according to the North Carolina Veterinary Association.

"Halloween is a favorite holiday of many Americans, and most of us enjoy getting dressed up, handing out candy or handing out with our family and friends," veterinarian Shannon Foy said. "While you may want to get your pets involved, please remember the dangers posed to pets during Halloween."

Follow these tips to keep pets safe on fright night:

  • Candy is for humans only. Your furry friends won’t react well to any “tricks,” as candy can be very dangerous for pets. This is especially true with chocolate. If you do want to give your pet something yummy, how about a special pet treat instead?
  • If you are taking your dog trick-or-treating with the family, be sure that he or she is on a leash and can behave nicely with others.
  • Protect your pets from pumpkins as well – if your dog or cat tries to nibble on a pumpkin, they may find themselves with an upset stomach and an unwanted visit to the vet.
  • Some pets love playing dress-up, others do not. Before you put a Halloween costume on your pet, make sure that they actually enjoy it!
  • If you have an inside pet, try to keep them in a separate room away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours. You wouldn’t want to risk spooking your pet or your trick-or-treaters.
  • Your yard may look great with all those lights and decorations, but be careful if your pet is around them. Make sure they don’t try to gnaw on cords or eat any decorations.
  • Make sure that your pet has proper identification in case they wander away from your home. This includes ID tags and microchips, which can be a lifesaver in many situations.

"If your pet enjoys Halloween, then great! Just be sure that you take the necessary precautions to keep them safe and happy," Foy said.