Keeping Your Dog or Cat Safe from Halloween Hazards

Halloween and trick-or-treat night will be here before you know it! By all means, include your four-legged friend in the festivities—just make sure they stay safe. Your Flat Rock, NC vet tells you how to do just that below:


Are you going to be dressing up your pet in their very own Halloween costume this year? It’s safest to do a “test run” before the big day actually arrives; not all pets are comfortable wearing clothing, especially if an outfit is too loose or tight. Plus, Halloween costumes may contain small parts—drawstrings, plastic eyeballs, etc.—that could be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on by your pet. Take care to remove any such items before having your pet don the outfit.


Halloween and trick-or-treat night are often chock-full of chocolate goodies. Remember that chocolate of all types—milk, semi-sweet, dark, white, even baking chocolate—can prove very dangerous for our animal companions. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two chemicals that don’t agree with pets. Never allow your animal friend access to chocolate treats at any time of the year, and be sure to keep a close eye on the treat bowl to ensure Fido or Fluffy doesn’t sneak a swipe.


Just like chocolate, candy is a particular hazard this time of year. Trick-or-treat night can be very dangerous with all of the xylitol-sweetened treats floating around! Xylitol is an artificial sugar used in many candies, gums, and even baked goods, and it’s highly toxic to animals. Symptoms usually appear within 30 minutes of ingestion, and may include lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma, and even death if a pet isn’t treated promptly. Make absolutely sure that your pet doesn’t have access to any harmful treats, and store leftover candy inside of a closed cabinet or drawer.

Anxiety and Escape

If your pet is the type to get worked up at the sound of the doorbell, trick-or-treat night may drive them crazy. Don’t let your pet become anxious—if necessary, secure them in another room to prevent anxiety and escape. In addition, always make sure your pet is properly identified with ID tags, a microchip, or both just in case they manage to escape despite your best efforts.

Would you like more tips for keeping your pet safe as Halloween and trick-or-treat night approach? Call your Flat Rock, NC animal clinic today. We’re here to help!

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