All in the Timing: Halloween Pet Safety and Emergency Prevention

Smaller dog on its hind legs with Halloween bucket next to himKids aren’t the only ones who enjoy Halloween, and it’s important that you know how to keep everyone in your family safe – this includes the four-legged members of your home. Whether you dress up your pet on the big night, take in a parade, or visit an apple orchard, make sure you know how to keep your pet safe this Halloween season.

Dressin’ Up

Of all the accouterments your pet could get dolled up in this year, the most important accessories are his or her collar and tags. It’s imperative that your pet’s identification and your contact information remain intact and visible on the scariest night of the year. Many pets go missing around this holiday, so check for any wear and tear and update microchip information if necessary.

Pets in costumes make for some great photo opportunities, and if your pet tolerates one, by all means, let him or her ham it up. However, costumes can be dangerous, so keep the following in mind:

  • Always check to make sure your pet is breathing normally and the costume isn’t too tight. Airways can be compromised if your pet tries to shimmy out of a costume, so make sure physical movement is never restricted.
  • Any attachments can pose a hazard. Bells, ribbons, and bows should be removed if loose.
  • Your pet’s eyes and ears should never be covered; if you notice abnormal behavior, remove the costume so your pet can regain control over all of his or her senses.


It wouldn’t be Halloween without candy, but your pet should never have access to your treats. Chocolate and Xylitol are two of your pet’s worst enemies. If you suspect your pet has ingested either, please contact us immediately. Wrappers, plastic pieces, and lollipop sticks can create painful blockages or cause intestinal ruptures, possibly requiring emergency care or surgery.

Halloween Pet Safety

Strings of decorative lights can spell big trouble for a curious, teething pet and should never be left on the floor. Older pets can easily become tangled in dangling lights or cords. Likewise, jack-o-lanterns can pose significant health and fire risk if knocked over by an excited pet.

If you plan on doling out candy to trick-or-treaters, it’s best to keep your pet in a room away from the constant bell ringing, shrieks, and laughter. Turn on some soft music or the television, and encourage him or her to snuggle up in one of your shirts or pillows to soothe any wracked nerves.

Lastly, our guide to Halloween pet safety wouldn’t be complete without a reminder to keep your pet safely indoors well before dark and throughout the entire evening. Even if he or she enjoys the unpredictability and noise, visibility is low for drivers and passersby, and all the revelry can be disorienting to a pet that might escape through a cracked front door.

Happy Howl-o-ween!

When these Halloween pet safety guidelines are taken into consideration, your chances of spending your holiday at home – and not in the ER – are much higher. From all of your friends at the Maywood Veterinary Clinic, we wish you and your pet a safe, healthy, and happy Howl-o-ween!