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Halloween Pet Hazards

October 15, 2023

Halloween is just around the corner. This can be a dangerous holiday for our furry friends. Fido and Fluffy are both playful and curious, which are two reasons they’re so much fun to have around. This is definitely something for pet owners to keep in mind over the next few weeks. A Brampton, ON vet lists some safety concerns to be aware of in this article.


Many of our four-legged buddies love to play with or chew on small objects. This is extremely dangerous, as it presents risks of choking and, in case of ingestion, internal injuries. Anything with wires or cords is also unsafe, as are items with batteries and anything made of a material that can easily be ripped or broken.


That candy bowl also may pose a significant threat to our furry pals. Hard candies are choking hazards, as are those candy wrappers. Many of those Halloween sweets also contain things that are toxic to pets, such as chocolate, nuts, raisins, sugar, and xylitol, which is sometimes labeled as birch sugar.


You may see more traffic than usual at this time of year. If you’re walking your canine friend after dark, make sure Fido has a leash or collar that is reflective. You may also want to wear bright clothes yourself.


Candles and fireplaces can give any home a warm, cozy glow. However, they definitely are not safe for pets. Keep any candles in high, secure holders, well out of paws’ reach.


Do you plan on putting your pooch into a costume? Make sure that Fido’s outfit isn’t too tight, hot, or constricting. You’ll also want to avoid anything with small parts, such as buttons, that your pup could try to eat. Finally, do not force your dog to wear an outfit if he doesn’t want to.


Do you get a lot of trick or treaters? A steady stream of costumed visitors may very well set Fido on edge. Put him in his crate or a quiet back room, and offer him a fun puzzle toy to occupy himself with. Pedestrian traffic may also upset your canine buddy. If you have a yard that goes along a street, limit your dog’s outdoor time around Halloween. This will also help keep him safe from pranksters. We also recommend keeping cats—particularly black ones—indoors.

Our Advice on Halloween Pet Hazards in 2024

What typical Halloween decorations pose a risk to pets?

Typical Halloween decorations that pose a risk to pets include small objects that can be chewed on or ingested, leading to choking or internal injuries. Decorations with wires, cords, or batteries are also dangerous, as they can cause electric shock or blockages if eaten. Additionally, items made from materials that can easily be ripped or broken present risks of ingestion and injury. It’s important to keep such decorations out of pets’ reach to ensure their safety during the Halloween season.

Why are lit candles and fireplaces a special concern for pets on Halloween?

Lit candles and fireplaces are a special concern for pets on Halloween because they pose significant fire and burn hazards. Pets, especially curious ones, can easily knock over candles or come too close to flames, risking burns or causing a fire. The excitement and increased activity during Halloween can heighten these risks, as pets may be more active or agitated. It’s crucial to place candles in secure holders out of pets’ reach and monitor fireplaces closely to ensure pets’ safety during the holiday.

Besides chocolate and xylitol, what other common Halloween candy ingredients are dangerous for pets?

Besides chocolate and xylitol, other common Halloween candy ingredients that are dangerous for pets include nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are toxic to dogs, and raisins, which can cause kidney failure. Sugar is also harmful, as it can lead to obesity and dental problems, and excessive amounts can cause digestive issues. Additionally, some candies may contain artificial sweeteners or caffeine, both of which are harmful to pets. It’s essential to keep all such candies out of pets’ reach to prevent accidental ingestion.

Is pumpkin safe for dogs and cats? Are there any parts of a pumpkin they shouldn’t eat?

Pumpkin is generally safe for dogs and cats and can even be beneficial due to its high fiber content, aiding in digestion. However, pets should only eat plain, cooked pumpkin without added sugars or spices. The seeds and skin can be hard to digest and should be avoided to prevent gastrointestinal upset. Additionally, canned pumpkin is a good option, but ensure it’s pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which contains additives harmful to pets. Always introduce pumpkin to your pet’s diet gradually to avoid digestive issues.

How can you make sure your pet doesn’t sneak out the door amidst trick-or-treating chaos?

To prevent your pet from sneaking out the door during trick-or-treating, consider keeping them in a secure, quiet room away from the front door. This reduces their stress from the noise and activity and minimizes the risk of escape. Provide them with comfortable bedding, water, toys, and a puzzle feeder to keep them occupied. Check on them periodically to ensure they’re calm. Additionally, ensuring your pet wears a collar with ID tags and is microchipped can provide peace of mind in case they do manage to slip out.

Happy Halloween! Do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your local Brampton, ON animal clinic, we’re here for you!