Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Tricks-n-Treats Info

Check Out This Article’s IN-FURR-GRAPHIC at Bottom of Page!

It’s that time again. Time for all the little ‘spookies’ to come crawling their way out from under the bed, jumping out of the closet or even digging themselves out of their graves. In other words … it’s Halloween time! Kids, and yes, even adults, get that little tingly feeling for this ‘terrifying’ holiday … but our pets, even the bravest guard dog that ever was (we’re talking about you Scooby!), can turn into a frightened scaredy-cat at the drop of a candy-filled pumpkin!

KC Theisen, the director of Pet Care Issues for the The Humane Society of the United States, states that “the things that make Halloween a treat for people—noises, smells, trick-or-treaters at the door and people in costumes—can overwhelm many pets.” While we as human love the things that go ‘bump in the night’ or to make us ‘fear of the dark’ can be quite dangerous to our pets.

Check out these Paw-some Halloween Pet Safety Tips and Tricks (and we’ll even through in a couple of ‘Pet Info Treats’ to satisfy your sweet tooth). Then feast your eyes on the awesome In-Furr-Graphic  (at bottom) featuring the Cape Fear Pets’ Mutt-sters that’ll turn the terrifying Halloween holiday into a safe and sound Howl-O-Ween fest for your pets!


Halloween: Dog In Pumpkin

  • Have a ‘safe-room’ that you can keep your pets in and away from the decorations. Changes you make to your house often times make them more nervous or even frightened (especially cats)
  • Certain decorations pose more of a threat than others. Some of these include: lit candles especially in pumpkins (fire hazards), rubber eyeballs and other small decorations (choking hazard), fake blood and glow sticks (possible poison), fake cobwebs or strung lights (can possible choke, entangle or strangle pets)
  • For a truly safe ‘haunted house’ for your pet, consider decorating with plush toys and other pet friendly ornaments.

20% of pet owners (up from 16% in 2017) will be dressing up their pet for Halloween in 2018. The money spent on pet costumes have risen (from the grave:-) of about $220M in 2010 (when it was first started to be recorded) to almost $470M projected for 2018!


Halloween: Dog Ghosts

  • As with most holidays when there is a ton of new experiences for the pets (people, noise, lights), they should be brought inside and have a ‘safe room’ for them to stay in.
  • In case of an escape, make sure all your pets are wearing tags with current IDs (and consider micro-chipping them). Be aware that opening the door for trick-or-treaters offer your pets plenty of chances to make their daring escape.
  • If you take your pet outside with you, consider you and the pet to wear something bright and colorful to help others (people walking, drivers, etc.) see you and your pet at night.
  • Be aware that many of the ‘monster’ or ‘creatures’ outside are not trick-or-treaters but real wild creatures such as possums, raccoons and even foxes foraging for food. If you come across a ‘real creature’, just make sure you keep your distance and make a lot of noise to scare them away from you.

The top 10 pet costumes for pets are: (1) Pumpkin, (2) Hot Dog, (3) Lion/Pirate, (4) Bumble Bee, (5) Devil, (6) Batman Character, (7) Ghost, (8) Cat – for Dog – or Dog – for cat – , (9) Witch, (10) Star Wars Character


Halloween: Dog Sniffing Candy In Pumpkin

  • People treats should be stored away from where your pets can get to them – high cabinet or shelf or somewhere with a child safety latch (gotta protect your ‘human little monsters’ too!)
  • As most people know, chocolate is toxic to dogs. But other treats such as gum and xylitol (a sweetener used in many foods), are hazardous to them as well.
  • Watch out for your children and their treats – they sometimes make the mistake of sharing their candy-haul with their four-legged friends.
  • Instead of taking an unnecessary risk by feeding your pet candy – offer your pet a safe pet treat!
  • Be prepared! Take a Pet CPR class and have emergency vet/animal hospital numbers on hand. Keep on hand the number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline: 888-426-4435. (The hotline charges a fee of $65 per case.) If you suspect your pet has eaten something that’s bad for them, call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately.

Some FURR-tastic kid-friendly Halloween movies staring pets are: (1) Hocus Pocus, (2) Frankenweenie, (3) Scooby-Doo The Movie, (4) Spooky Buddies, (5) The Nightmarfe Before Christmas, (6) The Dog Who Saved Halloween, (7) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown


  • Costumes can be an unnecessary cause of stress and anxiety for pets. When considering dressing up your pet for Halloween, remember their favorite ‘costume’ is wearing nothing but their birthday suits (or fur).
  • One of the best ways to get your pet loving their costume is helping them get relaxed wearing it by offering them ‘pre-Halloween’ treats and snacks.
  • If you opt for a costume for your pet, possibly consider forgoing masks (anything that cover ears or eyes) or anthing that might get tangles in your pet’s legs.
  • All pet costumes should be comfortable that allows freedom of movement from your pet.
  • If for any reason your pet appears uncomfortable, remove the costume. Look out for ears downward, eyes moving back in head or looking sideways, a tail tucked in between legs and other type of signs.

Some HOWL-ifying adult ‘Halloween-Flavored’ movies staring pets are: (1) Cujo, (2) Cat’s Eye, (3) Pet Cemetary — see a theme there???, (4) Man’s Best Friend, (5) Willard

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Howl-O-Ween Pet Safety In-Furr-Graphic

Infographic: Howl-O-Ween Pet Safety

High-resolution print-ready PDF
for web use or printing on 8 1/2 x 11 paper stock.