Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110



By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
October 18, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged


While Halloween may be a day of spooky celebration and fun for people, it can be a terrifying experience for our furry loved ones.  We realize pets are increasingly being considered parts of the family, so it is understandable that you may wish to include them in the holiday festivities.  But loud doorbells and shouting trick-or-treaters in costumes can be scary and stressful for your pet!

Here are some tips on keeping your 4-legged ghouls and goblins safe this Halloween!

  • Despite the popular phrase, for the safety of our pets it should become ‘No tricks, no treats’!  Ensure the candy bowl is set aside for the trick-or-treaters only (not for Frisky and Mittens!). Chocolate can be an alluring temptation for pets, but it is extremely toxic to them and poses a serious danger in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause health issues for pets.

Ingestion can result in excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, lethargy, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, panting, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.  If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

  • Consumption of other Halloween related hazards, such as candy wrappers and decorations can cause potential intestinal obstructions or even worse can potentially be toxic for your pet (onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins are all toxic to pets and can cause acute kidney failure)!

Although pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively non-toxic, they can produce stomach upset in pets that tend to chew on them.

  • Halloween glow sticks, glow jewelry, costumes, and paint can also be dangerous to any curious pets.  Although it is generally not life-threatening, all can produce mouth pain, gastrointestinal irritation, and other health issues if consumed.
  • Be sure to keep wires, cords, and other decorations out of reach of your pets.  A carved pumpkin, although festive, can quickly become a holiday hazard if you choose to add a candle.  Curious pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over, running the risk of causing a fire and getting burned by the candle flames.
  • When purchasing or making a costume for your pet, the Humane Society of the United States recommends ensuring costumes are comfortable and do not pose a risk for injury.  Remember, not all pets take to wearing costumes and forcing them into one may cause undue stress for both you and your pet. 

For those pets that do welcome dressing up, be sure the costume does not impair their vision, movement, or air intake.  Costumes should also be free of any chewable parts or objects that could come off and be swallowed.

  • During peak trick-or-treating hours, it may be best to have your pets in an enclosed room away from the front door.  The noise of the doorbell and shouting of strangers can be alarming to pets.
  • When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take caution to ensure your dog or cat does not dart outside.  It is a good idea to make sure your pet has proper identification if for any reason they escape and become lost.  A collar with tags, microchip, and/or TAGG system can greatly increase the chances for your pet’s safe return.

Taking these simple precautions will go a long way to ensure your Halloween is a joyful occasion to remember.


ASPCA "Halloween Safety Tips"

Humane Society of the United States "Spare Your Pet the Spooks this Halloween"