Halloween is a season when it’s fun to be scared, but there is nothing fun about the serious dangers Halloween can present to pets. Being aware of Halloween pet dangers is essential to safeguard your furry, feathered, and scaled family members so everyone can enjoy the holiday safely and comfortably.
Top Halloween Dangers for Pets
Despite the fun, treats, and excitement associated with the holiday, there are surprising threats and hazards toward pets at Halloween. The most dangerous Halloween pet dangers include…
- Poison – Accidental poisonings are one of the top pet risks at Halloween. Most Halloween candies, including anything chocolate as well as various types of sugar-free treats, raisins, and other snacks, are dangerously toxic to cats and dogs, even in small quantities. Furthermore, dyes in Halloween décor, painted pumpkins, glow sticks, simmering potpourris, and other chemicals can also be poisoning risks to pets.
- Ill-Fitting Costumes – If pets are dressed in costumes that are inappropriately sized, the animal’s vision, hearing, scent, and airways could be obstructed and cause injuries. Furthermore, costume materials could be chewed and swallowed, presenting choking hazards or toxicity risks. If a costume restricts the animal’s movement, they could also be at risk of falls, joint dislocation, and other accidents.
- Choking Hazards – All sorts of small decorative items, from fake eyeballs to tabletop baubles to glittery accents, can be a choking hazard for pets. Bits of costumes from both pets and humans that fall off may also become inadvertent choke hazards, as can discarded parts of craft projects, candy wrappers, or small Halloween toys. If pets swallow these items, they can cause bowel obstructions that could be fatal.
- Tangles – Draped decorations can cause tangle hazards for any pets that like to explore cozy spaces, especially if the animal may accidentally run into the tangles if frightened or startled. Items like fake cobwebs, netting, ghost cloths, or twinkle lights can all create dangerous tangles that could snag and ensnarl pets.
- Fire – From jack-o-lanterns to spooky lighting on every surface to backyard firepits for autumn s’mores, candles and other fires are go-to decorations for Halloween. Pets can easily be burned, however, either if they sniff too close to the decoration or if they accidentally brush against it. Pets might also inadvertently knock candles over and could start devastating fires.
- Getting Lost – Getting lost can be traumatic and dangerous for any pet. As doors may be opening and closing frequently for trick-or-treaters, it would be easy for a pet to slip outside unnoticed on Halloween, and roaming crowds, spooky noises, and unfamiliar costumes can startle and disorient any pet. A lost pet is at risk from vehicle collisions, predators, and a wide range of other outdoor hazards.
- Pranks – Halloween is a season of pranks, and not all of them are well-meaning or innocent fun. Malicious pranksters may target and tease lost or outdoor pets and could seriously injure, steal, or even kill an animal. Pranks that involves loud noises could also scare and startle pets, causing aggression or escape instincts that could let the pet get lost.
Protecting Your Pets at Halloween
Despite all the possible threats Halloween can pose to pets, there are easy ways to keep every animal comfortable and at ease while spooky fun goes on all around them.
- Avoid putting any costumes on pets that aren’t comfortable wearing them, and if you do dress up your pet, be sure the costume is pet-safe and the proper size for the animal.
- Keep all candy, nuts, and other treats out of reach of pets at all times. This includes countertop dishes that pets may be able to reach, or discarded candy spilled on the ground.
- Use pet-friendly Halloween and autumn decorations that have non-toxic materials. Keep any dangerous decorations away from pets and securely out of reach.
- Always supervise pets around any type of fire or open flames, including candles, firepits, and fireplaces. Be sure all flames are fully extinguished after use.
- Crate pets during trick-or-treat hours or put them in a safe, comfortable room away from disturbances. Alternatively, stay out on your porch to greet trick-or-treaters so the door isn’t always being opened and closed, giving pets fewer chances to escape.
- Be sure your pet is always wearing updated identification tags, or if the animal is microchipped, that its chip registration information is current and accurate.
Halloween can be a fun holiday for all family members, even the four-legged, furry, or feathered ones, if you take steps to keep your pets safe from the different dangers the holiday can present. With care, there’s no reason for you or your pet to fear even the spookiest celebrations at Halloween.