Top Ten Tips for a Pet-friendly Howl-o-ween

Trick or Treat!

Everyone likes a little trick-or-treat on Halloween, even the little fur balls in your life. But some trick-or treat activities may not be safe for animals. The ASPCA has several suggestions to help your pets’ Howl-o-ween be fun and safe.

  1. Candy is for trick-or-treaters only. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  2. Loose candy wrappers, especially those made of aluminum foil or cellophane, can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting. Remind children not to share candy with pets.
  3. Fall decorations often include pumpkins and decorative corn. Animals should stay away from these popular Halloween plants as they may cause upset tummies in pets who nibble on them.
  4. Be sure to keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of your pets’ reach. If chewed, pets might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
  5. Decorative items such as ribbons, streamers, confetti and those stretchy, stringy cobwebs can all be dangerous if ingested by a curious pet.
  6. Use caution if you choose to add candles to carved pumpkins. Pets may knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire, or possibly burn themselves. Consider flameless candles.
  7. Pet costumes are quite popular, yet you should dress your dog or cat in a costume only if you know your animal enjoys it. For some pets, wearing a costume may cause stress. For more information on animal costume safety, read our Halloween Costume Safety Tips for Pets.
  8. During trick-or treat hours, all but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
  9. If you allow your pet to help with answering the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that at the sight of an open door your pet doesn’t dart outside.
  10. Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If your pet escapes or becomes lost, a collar and tags or a microchip greatly increase the chances that your pet will be returned to you.

Have a safe and happy Howl-o-ween with your pet!

(Adapted from ASPCA web site)

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