The 6 Hazards You Need to Protect Your Dog from on Halloween

By Samantha Johnson on Oct. 19, 2017


Halloween is almost here, along with all of the spooky decorations, pumpkin spice and candy that go along with the holiday. These are the six hazards you need to avoid to protect your dogs and cats from Halloween hazards:

You might already know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but did you know that many other Halloween candies also are potentially harmful? Many sugar-free 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 out, especially if he’s nervous or upset by the festive (and unusual) activities taking place. Solve for this by putting your dog in a closed room away from the doorbell and the drama, and make sure he is wearing a collar and ID tags just in case he tries to make a break for it. 

Halloween is a great time to deck your house with all kinds of holiday décor, including candles, jack-o-lanterns and spooky centerpieces. While this is an undeniably delightful part of the holiday, keep the décor out of your dog’s (or cat's) reach—up on tables, on mantelpieces, etc.—and avoid leaving your pet unsupervised in a decorated room.

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, or put your lantern masterpiece outside.

Sadly, on Halloween, pets are sometimes targeted by people who take their fun too far. Protect your pets (especially black cats) from pranksters by keeping them indoors on Halloween—even for the days or weeks before.


What’s more fun than choosing the perfect costume for your pet? When you are making your costume selection, make sure that your pet can move freely in the costume and that they can 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 may make your pet uncomfortable or irritated. 

How do you celebrate a safe Halloween (or Howl-oween?) with your pet? Share your experiences in the comments!

Share your holiday photos on Instagram and tag us @petco or hashtag us at #Petco.

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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