6 Hazards to Protect Your Dog from on Halloween

By Samantha Johnson on Oct. 20, 2016


Halloween is here, with all the spooky decorations, pumpkin spice, and candy that go along with the holiday. But while you’re making plans for a happy Halloween, you also want to be sure that your dog stays happy (and safe!) during the holiday. Even though Halloween is lots of fun, it also poses several possible hazards to dogs, so you definitely want to make sure to cover the bases and keep your pet safe.

Here are 6 hazards to protect your dog from on Halloween:

You’re probably already aware that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but did you know other Halloween candies may also be potentially harmful? Some candies contain artificial sweeteners—such as xylitol—that are toxic to dogs. Other candies may present a choking hazard, so to be on the safe side, don’t allow your dog to sample any Halloween goodies, no matter how much he begs. Keep an eye on candy bowls, and make sure young trick-or-treaters don’t offer any treats to your dog.

If you’re going to be handing out treats to the little superheroes or ice queens that parade up to your door, be aware of the danger this presents to your dog. Every time the door opens is an opportunity for him to slip outdoors, especially if he’s nervous or upset by the festive (and unusual) activities taking place. Be sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tags, and consider keeping him in a closed room away from the festivities where he can relax safely.

Halloween is a great time to bedeck your house with all kinds of holiday décor, including candles, jack-o-lanterns and spooky centerpieces. This is an undeniably delightful part of the holiday, but it’s important to ensure that your dog stays safe around your decorations. Keep décor far out of your dog’s reach—up on tables, on mantelpieces, etc.—and avoid leaving your dog unsupervised in a room you’ve decorated.

That carefully carved jack-o-lantern may look beautiful in your living room window, but the candles that you’ve lit inside it? Not a safe choice when you share your home with a pet. Avoid the potential danger and opt for battery-powered candles instead.

Sadly, on Halloween, pets are sometimes targeted by people who take their fun too far. Protect your pet from pranksters by keeping him indoors on Halloween—maybe even the day before, too.


What’s more fun than choosing the perfect costume for your dog? As you make your costume selection, remember that your dog must be able to move freely in his costume, and he also has to be able to see, hear, and breathe properly. Do a “dress rehearsal” and let your pet test the costume before Halloween; this way you’ll know if there are any aspects of the costume that make your dog uncomfortable or irritated. By tailoring your pet’s costume to suit his preferences, you’ll ensure that you both enjoy a happy Halloween.

Enjoy a happy and safe Halloween (or Howl-oween?) with your dog—feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

You can also share your photos on Instagram and tag us @petco or enter our Halloween Instagram Contest!
Shop our Halloween Bootique online for you pet's costume.
Learn more about how to keep your pet safe this Halloween.

About the Author
  • Samantha writes about the happy things in life—pets, home, family, food, and gardening—and thinks Mondays are the most wonderful day of the week. She is the author of ten books and shares her home with Peaches, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi; Toppy, a Holland Lop rabbit; and Maureen O'Hare-a, a Mini Rex rabbit.
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