Halloween is the spookiest time of the year, but it shouldn’t be scary for your pets.  Consider your pets’ perspective when you are making plans for Halloween.  Here are some tricks to keep your animal friends happy and safe.

    1.  Keep Halloween candy safely out of your pets’ reach.  Chocolate, gum, and sugar-free candy with xylitol are all hazardous to pets and candy wrappers can cause intestinal blockages.  If you suspect your pet has consumed something toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.


    1. Be careful with costumes.  If your pet looks miserable in a costume, he probably is.  To eliminate undue stress, a festive collar or bandana may be a better choice.  If your pet loves dressing up, make sure the costume doesn’t limit movement, sight, or the ability to breathe and remove dangly or easily chewed-off pieces that can become a choking hazard.  Never leave a pet alone in a costume.


    1. When decorating, avoid potential threats like lit candles, toxic foods, or anything that poses a choking risk.  Keep in mind that pumpkins and decorative corn can cause stomach discomfort if eaten.


    1. Create a stress-free zone.  Take your dog for a walk before trick-or treat or your Halloween party starts.  Put your pets in a quiet room away from the festivities.  Be sure to include a water dish, comfy bedding, some favorite toys, and soft background music.  If you’re having a party, put a sign on the door to let guests know their room is off-limits.  Leave your pet at home if you go trick-or-treating.  Dogs can easily become overly excited and stressed by the Halloween costumes and noises.  Be sure your pets are wearing ID tags and/or a microchip with current information in case they do get away from you.


  1. Keep your pets safe.  Some people take advantage of the anonymity of costumes to cause mischief, with animals often being the target.  Please keep all of your animal friends in the house where they are safe.  If you see anything suspicious regarding the treatment of an animal, please call animal control or the police department.