Pet Safety: Halloween is spooky for our pets too! by Dr. Ashley Woo

Halloween is an exciting time of year where we get to enjoy dressing up, creating spooky environments, and eating a lot of candy! But all of these Halloween festivities can be frightening and sometimes harmful for our cats and dogs. It is important to be aware of the following risks and to help protect our pets against them!


Be sure to keep all Halloween candy away from your pets! Most people are well aware that chocolate is harmful to our pets. However, don’t forget they are also at risk of ingesting foil wrappers or other candy wrappings that can cause gastrointestinal blockages. Many of our pets have sensitive stomachs, and ingesting one small piece of candy they’re not used to can cause serious gastrointestinal upset. Don’t forget, raisins are toxic to our pets to!


We can all admit we love dressing up Fido in that adorable lady bug costume, but Fido may not agree. If your cat or dog will tolerate a costume, it is very important to ensure that the costume is comfortable at all times. Be sure to avoid a costume that is constricting. Anything with rubber bands could potentially cut off circulation to your pet or affect their breathing. Costumes with toxic dyes or paints, or that are edible should be avoided.

Humans dressed up in costume can be equally scary to our pets. Large masks, accessories, capes, can be confusing to our pets and may trigger aggressive behaviour. Even with people they are normally social with, costumes can cause our pets to become fearful or protective. Your pet is your responsibility, so be sure to have good control of them when guests are coming to the house to ensure no guest gets bit.


Some Halloween decorations can be harmful to our pets. Fake cobwebs, and string-like decorations are enticing for our cats. Ingestion of these objects puts them at risk of a foreign body and could lead to emergency surgery. Glow sticks are very popular, and animals commonly chew them! Glow material doesn’t tend to be life threatening but can cause irritation. Be careful with candles! They can be easily knocked over by our pets (even ones in pumpkins) and could risk your pet burning themselves, or even lighting the house on fire!

Scary sounds and visitors

Receiving multiple visitors to the door along with new scary noises can increase the risk of your pet escaping and getting injured. It would be recommended to keep your pet indoors for Halloween in a safe and secure room with special treats. Cats are at a big risk on Halloween nights, they are more at risk of being hit by a car due to the high traffic of trick or treaters. Black cats, especially, are at higher risk of cruelty on Halloween night.

Be aware of the above risks to help ensure a safe and happy Halloween! Make sure all your pets have up to date ID tags!