Halloween and Pets

Halloween and Pets

Don’t allow your pets to be haunted this Halloween.

Follow these tips to ensure that your Halloween is soothing not scary!

17th October 2023


Be prepared

Walk your dog before it gets dark – if this isn’t possible, think about fun ways to tire them out in the safety of your home, such as food toys, training, or search games.

There may be knocks at the door.  Stick to your dog’s normal routine and pre-empt what you ordinarily do when the doorbell rings.

Don’t let your dog greet people at the door. Trick or treaters may be children- even if they’re not strangers your dog may not recognise them if they are in fancy dress.  This may be scary and confusing for your dog and cause them to act out of their ‘normal’ behaviour. 

If you have a nervous dog, put up a sign on your gate – ‘Nervous dog’. Please do not knock on the door. 

Praise good behaviour

Reward your dog for good behaviour.  When he/she is calm and settled and responding to your commands reward with praise, attention, and a toy.   Do not tell them off – ignore the negative behaviour instead.

Make them feel safe

Create a safe space to go if your dog is worried, away from the front door and window.  This could be their bed, a crate or somewhere they enjoy being.

dog in costume

Chocolate – this is extremely toxic to pets.  In general, the darker the chocolate the more poisonous it is, so watch out for vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, elevated heart rate and – in severe cases – seizures.

Sweets – sugary, high-fat products can lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which can be very painful. Dogs can have decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and abdominal pain upto 2-4 days later. Raisins (mini boxes instead of sweets) are extremely toxic to dogs, even in small amounts.  Some dogs are more reactive than others (we don’t know why) so even one raisin/grape can cause poisoning.

Glow sticks/glow decorations –if eaten their contents can cause pain, irritation, excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth.

Candles – whether a wax candle with flame or a battery-operated candle, both are dangerous.  Wax candle has the potential to cause burns by brushing past. Batteries are toxic to pets, causing a corrosive injury.  Symptoms may include, drooling, oral pain, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, decreased appetite, burns in the mouth, abdominal pain, and fever.

Pumpkins are not toxic to dogs; however, they can upset their tummy so it’s best to keep them out of reach.


Two black cats

Create a safe space for them to retreat to.  Cats enjoy being up high to feel safe and secure.

Keep them indoors to prevent fleeing and keep them safe from pranksters.

Finally, make sure your pet is microchipped and your details are up to date in case they do become spooked, run away, or become lost.

(Image of Labrador courtesy of Isla (Dog) & Unsplash)

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