• Rachel Doran

A Pet-Lovers Guide to a Happy Halloween

It’s that time of year again. Scarecrows are popping up in every front yard, pumpkins are hiding in every grocery store produce section, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller is playing on a loop on every radio station. Halloween season is here.



There are so many things to love about Halloween. But as fun as Halloween is, it isn’t entirely harmless. There are precautions everyone should be aware of in order to have a fun, safe holiday and even more to be aware of if you are a pet parent. We are here to help you be prepared so that you can relax and have a spooktacular all hallow’s eve.


Dangerous Decorations


One of the best parts of Halloween is decorating your house with all the pumpkins, spider webs, and severed heads your heart desires. And the haunted house aesthetic is a fun one for sure, but it isn’t without its hazards.


Take pumpkins, for example. Most of us will carve Jack-O-Lanterns. And while pumpkins can be healthy for pets in small quantities, they can cause digestive upset if eaten to excess. The effects can be even worse if the pumpkin has started to rot. It is best to keep these carved delights out of reach of your pets.


Speaking of lights, if you are putting a candle in your pumpkin, beware of your mischievous little feline. Kitties tend to let their curiosity of the flame inflict avoidable burns/fires every year.

Pumpkins aren’t the only hazard to be aware of, however. Foam or plastic decorations can quickly become chew toys for your pups. Consuming any nonfood items can be dangerous and should be avoided. And then there are lights, faux webs, and garland. These present a risk of entanglement.


A good rule of thumb with decorations is to look at the decorations as your pets. If you know your pet can handle having a home full of foam pumpkins, then go for it. But if you know your cat will likely pull down all the hanging lights you labor to put up, it’s best to avoid the potential of your pet being harmed. While Halloween decorations are a fun perk of the season, our pet’s safety should be the priority.


A Safe Base


While on the note of safety, it’s important to keep in mind that Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year for pets. There are several deplorable individuals who seek loose pets for the sole purpose of causing them harm. Countless other pets are spooked by the loud sounds and strange costumes causing them to run off.


Please make a plan to keep your pet home and safe. If you are passing out candy or having a party, it may be a good idea to restrict them to a room away from the action. Put their favorite bed, a few toys, and some food in the room and rest easy knowing they are safe.


Buy The Right Costume


If you are planning on dressing up your pet. (Please do! So adorable!) Be sure to pick the right costume. Here are some things to consider when choosing a costume.


  • It should fit without being too restrictive or too loose.

  • The pet should feel comfortable in the outfit.

  • If they are anxious or unhappy, do not force it.

  • Consider the practicality of the costume; they should be able to potty easily.

  • Don’t leave it on them for too long; costumes are meant for short-term wear.

  • Be sure the costume is breathable and won’t cause your pet to overheat.

  • Make sure it’s snack-proof. Your pet will likely lick or chew on parts of the costume. Please be sure there are no choking hazards or anything they can chew off and consume.

  • Take at least 20 adorable photos you can share!

Have Fun


A few final reminders. Don’t feed your pets candy, keep them on a leash when out trick-or-treating, consider micro-chipping them in case they run off, and never put them in a situation in which they may become scared. (That’s how bites happen.)


There are dangers in all things. The absence of danger isn’t a requirement for the presence of fun. Plan ahead, think like your pet, and remember to enjoy the only night of the year candy calories don’t count!




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