Tips from Florida Animal Friend: Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Tips from Florida Animal Friend: Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Halloween is fast approaching, and now is the perfect time to learn about pet safety during this fun-filled season. From pet costumes and things to be mindful of to foods that can be harmful to pets, check out Florida Animal Friend’s top Halloween pet safety tips for a fun fall everyone can enjoy. 

Pet Costumes

Pets in costumes can be one of the cutest things you’ll ever see. Whether it’s a bandana around a dog’s neck or a cat wearing a witch hat, it’s cute-as-can-be and makes for great photos, too. Remember, though, to keep your pets’ happiness and safety in mind at all times. When thinking of a costume for your pet, here are a few Halloween pet safety tips to consider. 

Start Small

It’s best to start with simple accessories, such as that bandana for your dog, and test the waters to see if they are comfortable with it. Let them wear it and walk around. While some pets may love it, others may need more positive support from you. Try giving a treat or laying on the praise and smiles. And if they’re just not happy with it, don’t force them to wear it. Try another option, or forego the costume altogether. A happy pet without a costume is better than an unhappy pet in a costume. 

Keep It Safe

If you already know your pet does well with costumes, make sure the one you get is safe for them to wear. They should be able to move freely without tripping over any piece of the costume, and there shouldn’t be any pieces of the costume they can chew or ingest. They should also be able to see well, breathe normally, and bark or meow. Also make sure the costume isn’t too bulky, which could translate to being too hot for your pet. Remember: if your pet isn’t happy, they’ll let you know. Keep an eye on their movements and sounds to determine their comfort level, and remove the costume if needed. Never leave your pet unattended in a costume.


Halloween Can Be Stressful For Pets

Even pets living with children may be stressed when approached by youngsters in costumes.  The ring of the doorbell may alert your dog of danger and small people in strange costumes may initiate your dog to protect you or your home. Make sure your pet is supervised by you at all times when interacting with children during parties and leave your dog at home if you go trick or treating. Cats should be given a quiet place to stay safe and away from open doors.

Food Safety

Food safety is one of the biggest concerns for pet owners during Halloween as homes fill with candies and other goodies to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. There are some foods that can be harmful to pets if ingested, though, and it’s best to know about these ahead of time to avoid any emergencies. However, if your pet does ingest something harmful, contact your veterinarian during regular business hours and after-hours call the Pet Poison Helpline, available at 855-764-7661, is staffed with veterinarians 24/7 to offer help when needed most. The Pet Poison Helpline requires a one-time fee of $60.00 per case.  Read on for some important pet safety tips when it comes to food.



While possibly one of the best Halloween treats for humans to find in a goodie bag, chocolate is one of the most harmful foods to our pets. Unfortunately, most dogs love the smell of it, which may cause them to seek it out if it’s within reach. Do your best to keep it well out of reach of your pets. If your pets do consume chocolate, watch for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, slow movements, increased thirst, elevated heart rate, and, in severe cases, seizures. If you need emergency assistance, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661). 


A super sweet treat that our furry friends love to get their paws onto, candy is another food that is harmful to pets. It can cause pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. It can be quite painful but may not show up for a few days following the consumption of candy. Symptoms of pancreatitis include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and, potentially, kidney failure or organ damage. Avoid this and keep your pet safe by keeping candy out of reach and away from your pets. 

Candy Wrappers

If your pet ingests candy or chocolate, chances are it’s still in the wrapper. Though some are made of paper, many others are made of foil or cellophane that can be very harmful to your pets’ insides. Consuming enough wrappers can cause bowel obstruction, which will need surgery to clear. Watch for symptoms like vomiting and decreased appetite.  

Raisins & Grapes

While a healthy snack for humans, raisins and grapes can be fatal to dogs and cats, causing kidney failure. While some pets may need to ingest a lot for this to happen, others need only one bite. Keep raisins and grapes away from your pets at all costs. If ingested, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) right away. 

Enjoy the Halloween activities this season, but be mindful of the elements that can harm your pet. Their safety is in your hands, and they’re trusting you to watch out for them. 

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