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5 Pet Safety Tips for a Howlin’ Halloween

On Halloween, doorbells ring, candy is abundant, and costumed trick-or-treaters run around gleefully amongst cobwebby decor. These are all exciting things for kids and adults alike, but it might not be your pet’s idea of a good time. Luckily, there are ways to ensure both you and your pet have a safe and fun Halloween night.

Tricks to Having a Safe Halloween with Pets

Halloween festivities are great fun for humans, but if you’re a pet owner you must stay vigilant about your pet’s anxiety levels on this day. You also need to keep a close eye on the candy bucket around hungry paws. Here are the top 5 safety tips pet owners should heed on Halloween:

  1. Keep Candy and Treats Out of Pets’ Reach
    Excess sugar isn’t great for humans and is even worse for dogs and cats. And since chocolate is a popular candy ingredient, dogs especially are at risk of illness and even death if you leave the candy bucket laying around. Another candy ingredient to watch out for is a sugar substitute, Xylitol. Sugar-free candies are not healthy or safe for pets. Finally, when it comes to Halloween treats, even something as simple as a candy apple is a no-go. Peeled apples, however, are a great treat for both dogs and cats.

  2. Reduce Doorbell Fright
    Cats and dogs should be kept indoors while there are trick-or-treaters out and about, especially if you have an anxiety-prone animal. If you will be opening your front door a lot throughout the night, consider keeping your pet in a separate closed room to reduce the risk of runaways. If you know that ringing doorbells are a trigger for your animal, you can practice desensitizing them to the noise during October leading up to the 31st.

  3. Make Sure Pets are Tagged and Microchipped
    Make sure your pet’s collar tags are updated with accurate info, and get your pet microchipped if you haven't already. In the event of an escape, these two things will increase the likelihood of reuniting with your lost pet. It’s not unheard of for pets to go missing on Halloween night. Finally, black cats can be targets on this night especially, so keep a close eye on your dark-furred felines.

  4. Avoid Decoration Disaster
    It’s no secret that pets get into a lot of mischief. Whether your cat is knocking over knick-knacks on a shelf or your dog is chewing the newspaper, as a pet owner you’ve seen it all. Try to keep decorations out of reach of pets. If you use streamers or lights, make sure they’re high up on the walls away from curious paws. When it comes to knick knacks and candy wrappers, these can be choking hazards for your pet. Try to keep the area clean and warn your guests before they arrive that you have pets so they know not to leave beverages or snacks laying around.

  5. Consider Costume Options Carefully
    Whether you are dressing yourself or dressing your pet, costume choice is important. Certain costumes you wear may spook your pet, such as masks, face paint, or extravagant get-ups. Just like the doorbell trick, you can try to desensitize your pet to any wild or scary costume you might wear on Halloween so they know that it’s you under there. If you decide to dress up your pet, make sure it’s something they are comfortable in. This means making sure that the fit isn’t restricting, and that the fabric doesn't irritate their skin or pull at their fur.

Now that you have some basic tips for keeping your pets safe on Halloween, you’re better prepared for a night of festivity. Teach tricks and give treats to well-behaved pets, and have fun!

Partners in Pet Protection

Armed Forces Insurance and our partner Embrace Pet Insurance can help you protect your pets with comprehensive accident and illness insurance that covers your dogs or cats when the unexpected happens, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, specialist care, diagnostic testing, prescription drugs, and 24/7 pet health line. Embrace’s nose-to-tail policies cover breed-specific conditions, chronic conditions, cancer, dental illnesses, and preventable conditions like Lyme disease, parvo, and parasites. Plus, Embrace’s optional Wellness Rewards* plan can be purchased to reimburse you for routine and preventative care including everyday veterinary, training, grooming, teeth cleaning, chiropractic care costs, and more. Get your free quote in minutes.

*Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. Wellness Rewards is not available in Rhode Island.