Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spooky & Secure Celebration

Holiday & seasonal
A small dog ready for a safe halloween

Halloween can be a difficult time for dogs. People begin acting weird, dress up in strange costumes, and small people come knocking at the door. Dogs don’t understand this at all, so they can become worried and frightened or overly protective.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets: A Dog’s Perspective

Several years ago, my husband decided to dress up as a Star Wars Sith for Halloween. He went into the bedroom and closed the door to get into costume. He wore his motorcycle leathers, black from ankles to neck, with tall black boots and a black cape, red and black Sith mask, and carried a realistic light saber. Opening the bedroom door, he leaped into the hallway with the light saber held ready to battle the good guys (the Sith are bad guys). When he did that, our three Australian Shepherds answered his challenge and dashed down the hall, hackles up, growling, snarling, and barking. They were ready to protect their home from this aggressive trespasser. Thankfully, my husband, who realized immediately he had made a mistake, dropped the light saber and ripped off the mask. They didn’t bite him, but Bashir, the oldest dog, watched him carefully for the rest of the night; grumbling under his breath. If your dog is one to battle the postal carrier and delivery drivers, then children coming to your house to trick-or-treat are going to cause a problem. They’re going to bark each time someone knocks, rings the bell, or comes to the door. Then, each time they leave, they’re going to be convinced they chased them away.

Thankfully, you can make Halloween a little less stressful for your dog and help prevent potential accidents with a few pet safety tips this Halloween. If my husband had been bitten by one of our dogs, it would have been his fault, but our dog would still have a bite on his record; especially if my husband had needed medical care. Being careful is always better. 

Halloween Pet Safety Tips around Costumes 

Getting Pets Used to Your Costume

If anyone in your household is going to wear a costume, introduce the concept of a costume to your dog before the holiday or party. Several days ahead of time, place treats on one piece of the costume while talking to your dog in a happy tone of voice, “Look at this! What is it?” and give them a treat. Repeat this a few times and then introduce another piece of the costume. The next day, repeat this with another piece of the costume. Keep it fun, interesting, and rewarding for your dog.

Desensitize Your Dog to the Doorbell

If your dog is reactive when the doorbell rings, do some training to lessen their reaction before the holiday. Have them on leash and have a pocketful of high value (special) treats. Go to the door, open it, and stand in the doorway. Ring the doorbell and ask your dog to sit – it’s hard to bark, look around for strangers, sit, and focus on the treat all at the same time. When your dog sits, praise them, and give them a treat. Repeat a few times, give praise, then go do something else. Repeat this several times leading up to Halloween.

Prepare Your Dog for Trick or Treat

If you’re taking your children around the neighborhood, leave your dog at home. They don’t need to see all the neighborhood kids dressed up and making funny noises as they pretend to be monsters or animals. If you’re at home handing out candy, don’t have them answer the door with you. This tends to get the dog more excited or worried. 

Creating a Safe, Quiet Space for Pets on Halloween Night 

During Halloween, providing a secure, calming space for your pup is an important pet safety measure. Creating designated spaces and using various calming strategies can help your pets cope with the potentially stressful holiday situation. 

Set Up a Separate Room for Your Dog: 

Come Halloween evening, ensure your dog’s safety and comfort by having one family member spend the night with them in a separate room. Have the TV or music on, grab some snacks, and snuggle up with your dog. They may still react a few times when people come to the house, but this safe space will hopefully help them settle down quickly. 

Utilize a Crate for Dogs: 

Make sure your dog’s crate is available for them to use as a safe retreat during Halloween festivities. Provide a treat-filled toy and play soft music to create a soothing environment, encouraging relaxation. 

Keep Candy Safely Away from your Pets 

Far too many dogs and cats get into Halloween candy, and this can make them sick. Sugar, chocolate, and candy wrappers can all cause problems; especially if your dog discovers the bowl of candy and eats the whole thing.

Should your pet get into the candy or candy wrappers, call your veterinarian right away. They may suggest that you watch your dog’s feces for the next few days if your dog simply got into the trash and ate candy wrappers. However, if your dog ate a large quantity of candy, especially chocolate, your veterinarian will probably want to see your dog right away. Too much sugar can cause health problems, and chocolate can be toxic to dogs, depending on the dog’s overall health, the type of chocolate, and the quantity consumed. Prevention is best; just keep the candy out of your dog’s reach. But should your dog find some candy, call your veterinarian right away. Don’t wait until morning. 

Pet Costumes and Halloween Safety 

When considering dressing up your pets for Halloween, their safety and comfort should be a top priority. If you do decide to dress up your pet, following these Halloween pet safety tips can help ensure a positive experience for both you and your furry companions. 

Consider your pet’s personality and tolerance for costumes: 

Keep in mind the unique character and tolerance levels of your pets when choosing costumes for them. Some pets enjoy wearing costumes, while others find it stressful. Pick outfits accordingly, ensuring that your pets are comfortable with their Halloween attire. 

Avoid masks and hats that may cause discomfort: 

When selecting pet costumes for Halloween safety, avoid using masks or hats, which may impede their vision or movement, causing anxiety. Choose costume pieces that will not compromise your pets’ comfort while they wear them. 

Monitor pets in costumes for signs of discomfort: 

During Halloween festivities, it’s important to pay close attention to your pets. Monitor their behavior and body language while they wear their adorable costumes, looking for signs of distress or discomfort. If you notice your pet is unhappy or struggling, remove the costume immediately. 

Remove any chewable parts or choking hazards: 

Examine each costume carefully for small, dangling parts or easily removable decorations that your pet could chew on or swallow by mistake. One would hope that pet costume manufacturers would make Halloween costumes that are pet safe, but you can‘t count on that. Eliminate these potential hazards before introducing the costume to your pets, prioritizing their safety and well-being. 

a cat sitting in front of halloween decorations ready for a safe day

Pet-Friendly Halloween Decorations and Safety 

Be cautious with your Halloween decorations, especially when it comes to your pets. Pets can be curious about new additions to the environment and may want to investigate or even play with them. To avoid accidents, make sure your decorations are pet-friendly and positioned where your dog won’t be able to reach or chew them. Keep wires, candles, and small, potentially ingestible items out of reach to protect your pets from harming themselves. In addition, be mindful of your dog’s safety when carving pumpkins or putting a light inside them. Keep everything well out of reach, so you can enjoy the experience, while your pup isn’t tempted to cause trouble (or judge you for your pumpkin carving skills). 

The Importance of Pet Insurance for Pet Halloween Safety and Beyond 

Following these Halloween pet safety tips is important for keeping your pets out of harm’s way during the spooky season. But let’s be honest, accidents can still happen – even when we least expect them. That’s when having pet insurance can make all the difference for your furry family members. 

Embrace Pet Insurance is here to make sure you and your pets are covered, giving you one less thing to worry about. Our customizable plans offer flexibility, and they’ve got your pet’s back, not only during Halloween but throughout their entire life. 

So, with Halloween just around the corner, remember to keep your pets safe by following these Halloween safety tips for pets and consider Embrace Pet Insurance for any unexpected twists and turns in your pet’s health journey. We're here to make sure your pet can have a spooktacular Halloween without fear. 

After all, Halloween is the perfect time to celebrate with your furry best friend. Whether you're dressing up as a matching duo or just cuddling on the couch with some pet-friendly treats, spending Halloween with your pet is sure to be a howl of a good time!