Published: October 31th, 2016 | Jeremy Feldman

Halloween may be a fun holiday for adults and children alike, but for pets it can be downright spooky. From accidentally ingesting candy that has been left out to trick-or-treaters pounding on the door, pets are particularly vulnerable on Halloween. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind this Halloween.

How To Keep Your Pet Safe this Halloween

  1. Don’t leave pets outside unattended. Although your indoor-outdoor cat or dog may be safe in your backyard or on your stoop the rest of the year, Halloween can be a particularly vulnerable time for unattended pets. It’s not uncommon for pranksters to target animals, especially black cats, in the days leading up to and following the holiday, so keep them safely inside. Also, should they manage to get outs, make sure that they’re properly tagged and microchipped. The Mayor’s Alliance for Animals in NYC can microchip your pet.
  1. Stash the candy bowl. M&Ms, Twix, and other chocolaty treats are especially dangerous—even fatal—to dogs, due to methylxanthines, toxic compounds found in chocolate, according to The Merck Veterinary Manual. To prevent an emergency visit to the vet, keep all candy out of reach from pets. If you want to give Fido something to snack on, opt for a more dog-friendly treat.
  1. Keep pets away from the front door. Repetitive knocks and doorbell rings by trick-or-treaters and other guests can be alarming to even the friendliest of pets, especially since each person at the door is essentially a stranger. Rather than fighting back Fido, keep him far away from this high-traffic area by placing him in another room behind a closed door. Make sure to give him a few toys and his water bowl to give him a distraction during this hectic time.   
  1. Make sure your pets they actually like their Halloween costumes. Although it may be fun for you to dress up your pets as witches and ghouls for NYC’s many pet parades and costume contests, they might not feel quite so keen on the idea. Before going out and about in full character, make sure that their costumes fit properly and that they don’t constrict their movement, hearing, or vision.  
  1. Decorate your home with safety in mind. Loose electrical wires, fake cobwebs, and Jjack o’lanterns may look like toys, but in fact, these decorations can be hazardous to prying paws and teeth. Keep these items out of reach of animals.

Photo credit: Entirely Pets / Halloween Safety Tips

How are you keeping your pets safe this Halloween? What comfortable costumes is your pet pooch wearing? Tell us below in the comments.