Avoid a pet emergency with these Halloween safety tips – LifeSavvy

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Halloween is a fun time for people, but it can be dangerous for pets. There are many things to watch out for, from decorations that can be harmful to treats that can make your pet sick. Here are some tips to avoid a pet emergency and ensure everyone can have a purring Halloween this year.

Keep sweets out of reach

A pumpkin bucket full of candy

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The first and most obvious tip for keeping your pet safe this Halloween is to keep all the candy out of reach. Chocolate in particular is extremely toxic for animals to consume. Theobromine and caffeine, two methylxanthines present in chocolate in varying amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias and even death.

Any type of chocolate can be harmful to animals, but the highest concentrations of methylxanthines are found in baking and dark chocolate. Smaller animals, such as cats and small dog breeds, are more likely to suffer serious health problems after eating chocolate, but large dogs are also at risk.

Artificial sweeteners can also be toxic to dogs and cats. Other types of candy may not cause a pet emergency, but may cause your furball to feel nauseous after eating. Make sure to keep candy out of the reach of animals or in a sealed container where they can’t reach it. If you think your pet has eaten chocolate or candy with artificial sweeteners, call your vet immediately.

Clean up regularly

A girl feeds her cat pumpkin seeds

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Halloween creates many potential choking hazards for your pets. Candy wrappers thrown around the house can be eaten by mischievous cats or dogs. These wraps can also cause intestinal problems if swallowed, depending on the size of your pet.

Be sure to search the house after putting on and taking off costumes for parties. Many costumes contain loose items that could be a choking hazard for your pet, so be sure to put everything away after it’s been used. Objects that are shiny or flashy can be particularly tempting to pets.

Be mindful of decor

A woman is sitting with her dog and a pumpkin

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Halloween decorations can also be dangerous for pets. Lit candles in jack-o’-lanterns can be knocked over by a curious cat or dog, creating a fire hazard. Make sure that all burning candles are kept out of the reach of animals. If you must use them, consider using battery-powered LED lights instead.

Some Halloween decorations can also be a choking hazard if they are small enough to be swallowed. Be mindful of the decorations you use and make sure they are big enough that your pet can’t accidentally swallow them.

On the other hand, large decorations that can be knocked over can fall on pets and injure them. Keep this in mind if you have a rambunctious cat or dog that tends to run around the house and knock things over. You may need to attach those decorations to a base or remove them completely from your home.

Be careful with costumes

A girl with her dog in a costume

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If you dress your pet in a costume, keep their comfort in mind. Many animals do not like to wear clothes and can become agitated or anxious. If your pet is uncomfortable, it is best to remove the costume and try it on another day.

Some costumes can also be a choking hazard if they are loose or have small parts that could detach. Make sure the costume fits well and has no dangling pieces that your pet could easily swallow. If you are unsure about a particular costume, ask your vet for advice before putting it on your pet.

Pet Bat Wings

These wings are great for pets who may not want a more complicated costume.

Protect nervous pets

A cat hides under a sofa

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The hustle and bustle of Halloween isn’t fun for everyone! If you have a shy or fearful pet, Halloween can be a particularly stressful time. The main trick-or-treating hours are usually between dusk and midnight, so it’s best to keep your pet indoors during that time.

If kids go trick-or-treating at your house, make sure your pet has a safe place for them to go if the evening gets too overwhelming for them. Put their bed, some toys, and a bowl of water away from your front door.

Finally, while it’s fun to play pranks on your friends, don’t scare your pets this season. They don’t know it’s Halloween, so wearing a scary mask or jumping out from behind a door will only add to the stress and worry.

Secure all pets inside

Two dogs at a baby gate

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Even if your pet isn’t afraid of a steady stream of guests on Halloween night, constantly opening your front door gives your pet plenty of opportunities to escape.

Keep your pet in a closed-door interior room of your home while guests are trick-or-treating. If possible, put two closed doors between your pet and the outside at night. You can do this by putting your pet in the bathroom of a guest room or, for example, by putting it in a pet crate and closing the door.

If you want to keep your pet out, you can put a baby gate or net on the outside of your front door. This will keep your pet in even if the front door is open, although it won’t stop pets from jumping over it to get out, so you’ll still need to keep an eye on them.

Retractable baby gate

Attach this retractable gate to your front door to prevent cats and dogs from darting out.


Halloween can be a fun and festive time for the whole family, but it can pose some dangers for your pets. From candy to costumes, here are some things to consider as you prepare your cat or dog for the holidays.

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