Halloween Safety Tips

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Ghosts, goblins and candy are all right around the corner. Here are a few Halloween safety tips to keep in mind to keep you and your pet safe during this spooky season.

Black Cats:

Unfortunately many black cats are targets this time of year. There are many pranksters that may not have the best of intentions when it comes to your black cat. Please keep them indoors for several days around this particular holiday to minimize any threats. Also, keep an eye out as you open and close the door giving candy to the zombies that the kitty doesn’t get out!


Costumes: Many of us love the idea or the look of dressing our pets up in costumes. Please make sure to take your pets personality into account. If your dog is easily stressed, then please avoid dressing them up. It may be adorable, but it can cause a lot of stress to your pet. If you have a dog that enjoys being dressed up, make sure to avoid anything that would restrict their vision, hearing, body movements, or ability to bark/meow and swallow. Avoid things around their head and neck area to prevent an accidental choking.


Even if you think that your dog won’t mind being in a costume, it is still not recommended to bring them with you while trick-or-treating. There is no way to predict how your dog will react to the plethora of costumes out there. The last thing you are going to want is to have to try and deal with a dog fight or attack while you are bringing little Johnny to the neighbors to get some candy.

If you feel you must bring your dog with you, please make sure to have them on a very short leash to keep right beside you, and to use some reflective tape on their collar or leash (or costume, if you have put one on them) to allow them to be seen easier. Also make sure that they have proper identification on them in case they do get away from you.


Avoid streamers or other long, string -like decorations. This can be tempting to some pets and could lead to them eating the items and possibly becoming obstructed (which could mean emergency surgery!). Also avoid easily flammable decorations. Kitties are notorious for getting their noses into things. We certainly don’t want to burn them or have them knock over a lantern that then causes a house fire!


We all know that chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, so make sure to keep any of these treats away from our 4-legged babies. There are other things too that are also quite toxic that many people don’t think of.

  • Gum: specifically sugar-free gum. This is even more toxic than dark chocolate. Xylitol is the sugar substitute in these products (and other sugar-free sweets) and this can cause significant low blood sugar and can cause liver failure.
  • Grapes and Raisins: are also toxic and can cause renal failure.

Unfortunately, there is no equation that we have to determine how much of either the xylitol or grapes/raisins is considered toxic for a specific weighted animal (there is a formula for chocolate toxicity).

It is best to just not share any candy or treats with any of our pets. We also need to make sure to teach our kids that the dog and cat can’t eat the same things we do and that these things can make a pet very sick.

If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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