Dog in ghost halloween costume

Trick or Treat: Halloween Pet Safety Tips in 2023

Halloween is right around the corner! People are preparing their costumes, stocking up on candy, and putting up spooky decorations. But it’s important to remember that a holiday like Halloween, which is filled with fun treats for us, can hold dangers for our pets. This blog post will explore safety tips that ensure the entire family enjoys Halloween, including our furry friends.

Halloween can present unique challenges and potential dangers for pets, making it crucial for pet owners to take extra precautions. From microchipping your furry companion to keeping an extra eye out on candy, decor, and costumes, we’ve compiled the top Halloween pet safety tips to help you have the best spooky season yet.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Owning a pet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Halloween, but there are important things to keep in mind about the holiday, including how it could affect your pet. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can ensure their health and safety this Halloween.

  • Keep Your Pets Indoors on October 31
  • Microchip Your Pet in Case They Get Lost
  • Keep Halloween Candy Away from Your Pets
  • Make Sure Your Spooky Decorations Won’t Choke or Harm Pets
  • Choose Pet Halloween Costumes with Their Safety & Comfort in Mind

Keep Your Pets Inside

The best place for your pet to be on Halloween night is inside. Unfortunately, there are many stories of tricksters being less than kind to pets left outside. In order to keep your four-legged friend safe against injury or violence, be sure to:

  • Accompany them on trips outside
  • Keep them on a leash
  • Take them inside once they’re done
  • Keep them inside as much as possible

Even if you have a cat that resides outdoors, it’s safest for them to stay inside. Your cat may not be very pleased, but it’s the best option for them on Halloween.

Dog getting microchip
Microchip your pet to make sure they get home safe.

Microchip Your Pet

Amidst the fun of Halloween, it can be easy for a pet to slip out the door while you’re attending to trick-or-treaters. Because of this, Halloween is second to July 4th in the number of pets that go missing. Microchipping is a simple and effective way to avoid a lost pet during Halloween and every other day of the year.

A microchip is a tiny electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice. This chip contains a unique identification number linked to your contact information in a national pet registry. It’s typically implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. Shelters and veterinarians can scan lost pets for microchips and contact the owner for a happy reunion!

If your pet hasn’t been microchipped, bring them to your nearest PetWellClinic for a quick and easy microchip procedure. We don’t have appointments, so you can walk in whenever it’s most convenient for you!

Halloween Candy

Treats for humans may be a delight for us, but they can spell double trouble for our furry companions. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic to dogs and cats. 

Some common things to keep out of reach of your pet:

  • Chocolate
  • Candy sweetened with xylitol
  • Raisins (and grapes)
  • Wrappers and bags


Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats and should always be kept away from them.

It contains theobromine, an ingredient that can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Possible death

If you think your pet has accidentally ingested chocolate, you should take them to an emergency clinic or vet hospital right away.

Candy Sweetened with Xylitol

Xylitol is even more toxic to your dog than chocolate is. A natural alternative to sugar, it’s used in a lot of gums, peanut butter, hard candies, and other treats humans enjoy. It can lead to a rapid release of insulin in your pet, causing a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels and potentially result in seizures. Be sure to keep these tempting treats out of reach to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.

Raisins (and Grapes)

Raisins and grapes are a popular, healthy treat to hand out on Halloween, but if your pet gets a hold of them, there could be an unhappy ending. These healthy alternatives to candy can cause kidney failure, so be sure to keep them away from your pet.

Wrappers and Bags

Candy wrappers can be a choking hazard for your pet. Empty goody bags could also cause your pet to suffocate if they get their head stuck inside and are unable to breathe.

Even though your pet can’t eat the same Halloween treats that you do, you can buy Halloween-themed treats and toys made specifically for dogs or cats if you don’t want them to feel left out. Visit your local pet store or pet treat bakery to find festive treats that are safe for your furry friend!

Halloween Decorations

Hanging fake cobwebs, carving pumpkins, and making our houses look spookier than usual are all part of the fun. But Halloween decorations are the biggest risk to our pets behind Halloween candy. Like anything in your house, it’s important to use common sense with decor around your pet.


When you carve your pumpkins this year, opt to use battery-operated tea lights instead of real lit candles. Jack-o-lanterns aren’t always stable, and a clumsy but well-intentioned pet could cause a fire by knocking into it while it’s lit.

Glow Sticks

Glow sticks may light the path to nearby candy, but in pets, especially cats, it can cause excessive drooling and fits of energy. While rarely fatal, the liquid inside of them, dibutyl phthalate, is poisonous.

Pumpkins and Cobwebs

Make sure any Halloween decorations that may resemble a toy to your pet are kept out of their reach. Fake cobwebs may look a little too inviting to your cat, and those styrofoam pumpkins may resemble a brightly colored ball to your dog. If your pet does start chewing on your decorations, monitor their behavior. If they start to feel sluggish and act lethargic after getting into your decorations, contact your vet right away.

Dog in bear Halloween costume
Make sure your pet is comfortable while rocking their Halloween costume.

Halloween Pet Costumes

Sure, Halloween costumes for pets can be adorable, but not every pet is thrilled with the idea of getting dressed up. A costume can be scary and restricting to a pet that isn’t used to wearing anything other than their natural fur coat.

If you’re going to opt for a pet costume, make sure your pet still has plenty of mobility while wearing it. It shouldn’t be loose enough that they trip when they try to walk, but it also shouldn’t be so tight that they can’t move around freely. 

Also, avoid costumes that restrict your pet’s vision. Masks or large headpieces can keep your pet from seeing the full scope of what’s around them, which can be very scary for an animal that doesn’t understand what’s going on. A pet whose sight is restricted has to rely on its other senses for information, and any strange smells or sounds could set them on edge. 

For more pet costume tips and suggestions, check out the Humane Society’s list of pet-friendly costume options.

A Pet-Friendly Halloween Makes October 31 a Treat for Everyone

Halloween pet safety doesn’t have to be a scary, doom-and-gloom topic. You can enjoy the spooky fun if you follow the right steps and keep an eye on your pet throughout the night. Just plan to monitor your pet to ensure that they’re doing okay on Halloween, and set aside a safe, familiar, quiet space for them to hide away and decompress if needed. For a dog, this might be their crate inside a dark, quiet room. For a cat, you may reserve a Halloween-celebration-free room for them in case the festivities get to be too much.

To ensure Halloween stays fun and festive, it’s important that pet parents take precautions like microchipping their pets and keeping unsafe candy or tempting decor out of reach from furry friends. Certain treats can be poisonous to cats and dogs, candy wrappers can be a choking hazard, and decor like plastic pumpkins can pose as a treat to our pups and kittens. By following these pet safety tips, you can enjoy the holiday while keeping your fur baby safe and comfortable.

All of us at PetWellClinic® wish you a very safe, healthy, and happy Halloween. PetWellClinic® is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Visit your local PetWellClinic® for any needs that arise while prepping for Halloween!
PetWellClinic® provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic® has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet anytime! No appointment necessary.

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