5 Important Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

Happy Howl-O-Ween! 


Do you see what we did there?


The irony of the werewolf and the mighty canine!


You can probably tell, that here at Release the Hounds, we’re gearing up for Halloween festivities and have collected what we think are some helpful tips to keep your dog safe, comfortable and happy during all the excitement.

halloween pet safety


How can I keep my dog safe on Halloween?

 There are a few ways you can keep your dog safe on Halloween, which are: 


1. Dog Costumes

It is super cute to see your dog all dressed up in a costume for the holiday, but some pets do not enjoy wearing them, and you should also take costume safety into account. Plus you might be wondering, are dog costumes cruel? Well, they’re not too bad if they’re gradually exposed to them. 


Take time and let them get used to their costume before the big night. By introducing them to their costume slowly, you can save you and your dog a lot of stress. Take a couple of weeks, put one piece on at a time and gradually increase the amount of time they wear it for. Be sure to give them a treat for having it on and not fussing.


2. Pranksters and Mischief

In the weeks leading up to the 31st, people have been known for playing some nasty tricks that have sometimes resulted in horrible events in the “Halloween spirit”. These pranks sometimes include stealing, teasing, injuring, and even killing animals. 


For example, black cats are often targeted due to superstitions even though the animal has done nothing wrong and does not deserve the cruelty. Some animal shelters try to prevent this by putting a restriction on adopting out black cats around the end of October. These terrible acts are preventable by keeping your cats and dogs inside or keeping a close eye.


3. Keep Candy Out of Reach

It’s a well-known fact that dogs are allergic to chocolate (particularly baker’s and dark chocolate) but did you also know that some of our other Halloween treats may also contain xylitol? Commonly found in sugar-free gum and gummies, xylitol is used as a sweetener and, when ingested, can be highly toxic to your pets. Ingestion of xylitol can cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, internal bleeding, and liver failure. If your dog shows any of these symptoms on Halloween night, take them straight to the vet! If left untreated, xylitol toxicity can lead to death.


4. Trick or Treating

Even if your dog is used to all the hustle and bustle of the evening’s events, you may still want to consider putting them away somewhere safe and secure. The constant stream of strangers in costume ringing the doorbell and laughing, screaming or shouting may put your dog through a great deal of unnecessary stress. 


You also run the risk that they can escape through the door as you’re busy handing out candy. Be considerate of your dog and give them a calm, quiet space of their own for the evening or consider bringing them to a kennel for the night (check out our article on how to choose a boarding facility). However, we do not recommend leaving your pets outside unattended, as we discussed above.


5. Post Festivities

The night after Halloween, the streets may be a little more of a mess than usual. You are more likely to come across fallen candies, costumes that didn’t hold up, old pumpkins, and decorations while out on your morning walk on November 1st. Keep a close eye on your pup to make sure they aren’t picking up or eating things they shouldn’t be. Old jack-o-lanterns can contain mould and bugs that could make your dog sick and are a frequent find the morning after.


Why do dogs want to be close to you?

During Halloween, you might notice your dog lingering close to you; there are a few reasons for this. One reason might be intense distress; if there are loud noises outside the house such as fireworks, music or shouting, they could be quite anxious. 


Similarly, if you or your family members are about to leave the house to go trick or treating, they could be clinging to you as they don’t want to be left on their own. They could also be craving nurture and wanting attention from you. There’s a range of reasons for this, but make sure you provide them with extra attention and love to make them feel safe on Halloween. 

dog in halloween costume



Overall, Halloween should be pretty safe for you and your pet to celebrate. Make sure that you get them used to costumes, place them out of the noise of trick or treaters, keep candy out of reach and pay them extra love and affection on this unusual evening. Therefore, take caution and follow these simple advisories to ensure that you and your family enjoy the festivities and keep safe on Halloween!


Why do dogs hate Halloween?

One of the main questions many dog owners have is, do dogs like Halloween? The truth is it’s not always a pleasant experience for many dogs as it’s quite noisy and stressful. To make it more of a tolerable experience, put them in a calm, structured environment and give them lots of affection.  


Are black dogs safe on Halloween?

Like black cats, black dogs can cause a lot of controversy due to superstitious mythologies surrounding their coat. The reason their coat is a dark black is that they have extra melanin in their coat. They’re not scary, aggressive, and you shouldn’t be threatened. Therefore when you see them on Halloween, don’t walk or run in the opposite direction.


Do dogs think you abandon them when left?

If you want to go out trick or treating or spend Halloween with friends, you might want to think about your canine. Especially if you’re out for a long time over a few days, your dog will likely miss you. Their stress markers like raised temperature, heartbeat, respiratory functions, and more are slightly raised when left alone. 


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