Keep Your Pets Safe This Halloween

For many pets, Halloween can cause quite a fright. Frequent visitors, loud knocking, and children running around can be stressful and overstimulating for your pets; while dangerous decorations and tempting sweets pose a major risk to your pet’s health.

“Halloween activities often overwhelm pets,” says Dr. Megan Oelstrom, Chief Medical Officer of Anicira Medical Center in Encinitas. “Families should make a plan to keep their pet safe and comfortable on the holiday.”

Dr. Oelstrom and the team at Anicira Veterinary Center offer these tips to ensure your pet is safe and happy during Halloween.

Stay indoors 
Avoid taking your pet outdoors during the busiest hours of trick or treating. The site of trick-or-treaters in their costumes may be confusing and overwhelming for pets. With the combination of overstimulation and small children running around, pets can become fearful or reactive, even if they have previously shown no signs of these behaviors.

Keep candy out of reach
Nothing is scarier than a sick pet! Keep your sweet treats out of reach from your pets so they don’t get sick. If you are concerned about your pet after eating candy, please call pet poison control or take your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

Watch for Escape 
Frequent trick-or-treaters allow for frequent opportunities for your pet to slip out the door. Consider keeping your pet secured in a safe spot away from the door. 

Avoid Decor Disasters
Halloween decorations can be a safety hazard for pets. Pumpkins with lit flames can be a burn hazard. Other small decorations, such as plastic spiders, can be a choking hazard. Be mindful of your pet when decorating.

Drown out the Doorbell
Frequent bell ringing and knocking on doors can be upsetting to your pet. Keep your pet calm by minimizing the noise. Some options are to sit outside with your candy bowl, to ask visitors to knock lightly, or to leave your candy bowl outside.

Costume Concerns
Dressing up your pet can be a fun way to celebrate the Halloween season. However, if your pet doesn’t enjoy wearing a costume, it will likely cause them unnecessary stress. If your pet is happy to wear a costume or outfit, make sure it fits correctly. Costumes that restrict movement or that are too tight can cause injury to your pet.