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Top 7 Threats to Pets on Halloween & How to Avoid

halloween threats to pets

Quite frankly, Halloween is often a pet parent’s most dreaded holiday. It’s not a lot of fun for our pets either – there are little two-legged creatures running around dressed as monsters – ringing the doorbell, chasing them down streets, uncomfortable costumes, and loud noises that often go unexplained. 

This is why it’s so important for you to prepare your pets on Halloween – because even things you use every single day can turn into a potential problem. The top 7 threats to pets on Halloween include:

  • Candles
  • Poorly designed Halloween costumes
  • Escaping a yard or house
  • Treats left on the ground
  • People
  • Anxiety
  • Xylitol

We want you and your pets to enjoy the holiday, so these are the best ways to avoid these threats!


Fun fact: Each year, over 1,000 fires are caused by pets.

It’s not intentional – these pets are just walking past and catching their tails on fire, or accidentally knocking over a candles.

Not only are they dangerous for the obvious potential of fire, but the scented candles can be very harmful to birds and even to us. Don’t let your holiday end in tragedy. Just avoid candles at all cost. 

If you’re looking for the ambiance of candles, try using electric candles.

halloween pumpkins
Use electric or solar candles around pets.

Technology has come a long way and there is really no reason to invite tragedy by using candles in jack-o-lanterns or in the home. These remote-control candles flicker, just like real ones. You can even pick up some solar-operated outdoor lanterns for your patio that will give your yard a spooky feel.


2. Choosing A Costume

If you really want to put a costume on your pet to grab a quick photo for Instagram, then by all means, do so. But it should be done days or even weeks prior to Halloween. The night of the event is not the time to stress out your pets.

DIY Costumes

Sewing is not my gift. It is, however, the gift of this amazing lady – here are a few of my faves, but browse her instagram account to see the newest:

Bree is not a big fan of costumes, but we wanted to make something special for her. This is our attempt to make a glow-in-the-dark dog costume out of glowsticks. It was a lot of fun for all of us. But, we only made her wear it for a few minutes.

Dogs generally aren’t like people who want to be dressed up all night – they don’t like to itch, they don’t like to smell weird, and they don’t want any added stress on an already stressful holiday.

Pre-made Costumes

We personally love the very well-designed costumes from Animal Planet. (This is Brock modeling a brontosaurus costume.)

When you select a costume, be very sure it’s well-designed, with anti-flammable material and that it doesn’t contain any small parts that dogs or cats will pull off and accidentally swallow.

Escaping the Yard

This should be a no-brainer, but sadly, it’s not. Dogs do not belong (even leashed) on a street while kids in costume are running around in unfamiliar costumes. They should not be rushing the door to greet and hand out candy. Keeping your pets in may well be the most important thing you can do for your pet.

Cats have a way of “mysteriously disappearing” during Halloween, particularly white or black cats. Dogs can easily escape a yard – even dogs that normally won’t jump fences – in a misguided attempt to protect their home and owners.

Please keep your pets indoors, in a safe, secure environment.

Keep Pets Calm on Halloween

There are many ways to Naturally Keep Dogs and Cats Calm.

One of the best ways we have found for calming your pet is one of the dog anxiety jackets on the market. All of these coats work very well and you will find your pet is far more relaxed (in most cases) than she is without the coat.

Pheromone therapy is another excellent approach. Try out Feliway if you have cats or Adaptil if you have dogs. Pheromone-based therapy will go a long ways towards keeping all of your pets calmer during the holidays.

If you haven’t already checked out DogTV, do so! This channel offers 24 hour a day sensory-optimized programming for dogs.

Offer to all of my readers: a FREE Month of Dogtv to you and your pup! No strings attached, no credit card required.

Walking Your Pets

Get your pets ready for All Hallows Eve by taking them for a walk! This will help alleviate anxiety, reduce extra energy and help you and your dogs (and cats) have a great night. It’s no coincidence that Walk Your Dog Week is in October!

While you’re out Trick-Or-Treating, you should keep your pets indoors, but if you absolutely have to take a walk during “candy collection” times, then be sure you retain full control over your them. Whether using a leash, Halti, or pet stroller , you should never let your dogs run free on Halloween.

Remember that candy and treats get dropped on the sidewalk all the time, and nearly all of it can make your pets sick. If you haven’t already trained your pets to “drop” something in their mouth, it’s time to do that now.

If your pets don’t already know and respond to, “No” or “Drop”, they shouldn’t be out during the days of Halloween.

Microchips and ID Tags

Make sure your pet has at least two forms of ID at all times. No, I’m not saying they need to walk around with a drivers license, but they should be microchipped and wearing a collar with rabies tags and ID tags at all times.

If you want to keep fashion alive, consider a Blanket ID tag. This is one of our all-time favorite (and most fashionable) forms of ID for pets of all species.

If your dog is prone to escape, think about investing in a PodTracker: GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker for Cats and Dogs.

Take a look at these five stylish ways to tag your pets.

Cat Stimulated Stress

Protecting Pets from People

Halloween is doubly scary for our pets, so keep them in a secured room, away from noise, or in a place they consider safe. This may be under the bed, in a crate, or in a den they’ve dug in the backyard. Wherever they are secured and feel safe is best.

Keep Doors Closed

An open door is just an opportunity to rush the door for a dog set on protecting you. We make it a policy to sit on the front porch and head off any trick-or-treaters. Greeting them as they come up the walkway, they will never have a chance to ring the dreaded doorbell or escape through an open door.

Keep a close eye on your pets this holiday season. Many horrible things are done to animals of all species this time of year. Keep your pet secured and under control – it’s more important than ever for their safety. They are far too valuable to lose to a night of revelry.

If you have any tips on keeping pets safe during Halloween (or any other day), please let us know in the comments below!

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