senior dog in vampire costumer surrounded by halloween decorations; halloween pet safety tips

Here in Damascus, Oregon, the autumn leaves are beginning to change color and Halloween costume planning has hit full stride! Many Halloween and fall activities are pet-friendly, and there’s nothing we love more than including our furry friends in the festivities. Still, it’s important to review a few pet safety tips to make sure your pets stay happy and healthy this Halloween (and beyond!)

Halloween Pet Safety Tips For Indoor Pets

Keep Halloween Decorations Out of Reach

While spooky flapping bats, twinkling orange lights, and flickering jack-o-lanterns are definitely festive, they can also be a hazard for curious pets. Indoor cats are especially at risk of getting into trouble with wires, lights, and candle flames. Make sure to keep hazardous decorations safely out of reach. While some of these might be obvious, like lit candles, others might be less predictable. Things like rubber eyeballs (choking hazard), glow sticks (possible toxicity), and fake cobwebs (choking hazard or entangle risk) should also be carefully considered.

Give Pets A Quiet Place To Go

While some pets will gladly greet every ghost and goblin that comes trick-or-treating, others might feel overwhelmed by so many visitors. If you have a scaredy cat or a stranger danger pup, consider setting up a cozy, quiet place for them to get away from the action. Dimmed lights and quiet music can be a helpful distraction for anxious pets. 

Keeping them calm is especially important if your pets are at-risk of running through the door every time it opens. On that note, make sure your pets are microchipped and/or wearing a collar with proper identification. This can help them find their way back home in the event that they bolt while you’re distracted. 

Keep Treats Out of Reach

Halloween treats tend to be sugary, fatty, and chocolatey—all things that can spell trouble for our furry friends. That could be why calls to the Pet Poison Helpline® increase by 12% during the week of Halloween. The biggest food dangers for pets include chocolate, candies sweetened with xylitol, raisins, and candy wrappers. That’s why our top Halloween pet safety tip is to keep candy safely stowed in a high cabinet or latched container, both pre-Halloween and during trick-or-treating. 

Pet Safety Tips: For Outdoor Activities

Know Your Pets’ Preferences

Again, some pets might love the hustle and bustle of a busy pumpkin patch or scary corn maze. They might even enjoy tagging along for trick-or-treating. But others would prefer to stay home and avoid the crowds. If you know your pet doesn’t do well with crowds, plan accordingly. Even kid-loving, friendly dogs might be scared by crowded streets and unusual costumes. If you’re not sure how your pet will handle an event, err on the side of caution and just leave Fido home. 

Keep Indoor/Outdoor Cats Inside for the Night

Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to go missing, right behind the 4th of July. A constant parade of costumed strangers on your block can be scary for even the most seasoned indoor/outdoor cat. Make sure your cats come in well before sundown on Halloween night and provide them a safe, quiet place to get away from the noisy trick-or-treaters. 

Other Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Choose The Right Halloween Costume

This Halloween pet safety tip might come as a surprise: be cautious when choosing a costume. Consider your pet’s personality and what type of costume they’ll tolerate best. For example, masks and hats with bands that snap around the face can be uncomfortable when worn longer than a few minutes. A few other guidelines to follow when selecting a costume for your pet: 

  • Make sure your pet’s costume is comfortable and allows them to move freely. 
  • Remove any chewable or removable parts that could be a choking hazard.
  • Check that the costume doesn’t interfere with your pet’s ability to see or hear.
  • Steer clear of dyes and paints that could be licked off the fur, as they might be toxic when ingested. 

Not sure your pet will enjoy wearing a costume? Themed bandanas, collars, or harnesses offer a simple alternative to dress your pet up on Halloween day.

Review The Halloween Treat Do’s and Don’ts!

Halloween is a day for indulgence! But the same treats you and your kids love could be dangerous for your pets. Keep the following goodies away from your pets this Halloween season: 

    • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I​​n general, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to pets.
    • Chocolate-covered rains. Both raisins and chocolate can cause severe illness in dogs. Even a single raisin or grape can have a severe impact on dogs’ kidneys. 
    • Unsweetened candies and candies containing xylitol. Xylitol or “sugar alcohol” is extremely toxic to dogs. It can cause seizures and even be fatal in higher doses. It’s most common in sugar-free treats, including candy corn and chewing gum.

Stop by Our Howl-O-Ween Open House!

As the newest vet clinic in Damascus, Oregon, we’re excited to open our doors to a howling good time. This October 20th we’re hosting our very first open house. We’ll be serving up food and refreshments and hosting kid-friendly activities. Plus, costumed attendees have a chance to win our costume competition! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media for updates and more information about the event. We hope you and your furry family members have a happy, healthy Halloween season! As always, if you need urgent vet care in Damascus, Oregon, give our team a call.

Showing compassion and empathy to all creatures big and small.

Contact Us


Clinic Hours

Monday to Friday

Open from 8am – 5pm

Holidays/Weekends – Closed

Copyright © 2023 Pine Point Animal Hospital. All Rights Reserved.