Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Costumed dog on a trick or treating adventure with kids

Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, especially for our pets, but keeping them safe doesn’t have to be scary. Take these simple steps to keep your pet happy and healthy during spooky season.

Hide the candy bowl
 
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline® at 800-213-6680 immediately*. If you have a policy with Pets Plus Us, this call is free as part of our Blue Ribbon Benefits*. Please log on to your portal account for the no-charge members only phone number.
 
Carve out some time for pet-proofing
 
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
 
The trick with costumes
 
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. We recommend you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they love it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
 
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If they seem distressed or show abnormal behaviour, consider letting your pet wear their “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
 
Too cute to spook
 
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door and too many strangers especially in costumes can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
 
Happy Howl-o-ween!

*Pet Poison Helpline is an Animal Poison Control that provides treatment advice and recommendations relating to exposures to potentially dangerous plants, products, medications, and substances, to veterinarians, veterinary staff and pet owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please be aware as of February 15, 2022, there is a $75.00 US per incident consultation fee which includes unlimited follow-ups. Pet Poison Helpline is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Helpline number is 1-800-213-6680. If you have insurance coverage with Pets Plus Us, the call is free with Blue Ribbon Benefits. Please log on to your member’s portal account for the co-charge member’s only phone number.**Blue Ribbon Benefits not available in Quebec. All Pet Insurance plans have limitations and exclusions. Specific products, features, rates, and discounts may vary by province, eligibility, and are subject to change. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation, distributed by PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. & Société d'Assurances Collectives (Sodaco) Inc. in Quebec. ***The information provided and contained herein are the opinions of PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. which are based on external publication. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss, claims or damages arising out of the within content.