Don't let Halloween be a SCARY time for pets!

Halloween dog costume

The Headless Dogman makes a SCARY Halloween appearance!

Halloween is full of frightful sugar-induced fun for kids and adults alike, but when it comes to pets, the same treats that we enjoy can cause severe illness, or worse. If you have kids, make sure that they understand that their candy is NOT to be shared with the family dog(s)! (It’s just more for them anyway). Stress the importance of keeping their Halloween haul safe, and in a high place or closed cupboard that nosy wet noses can’t sniff out. Dogs may love chocolate as much as we do, but they don’t know how bad it is for them: if they make off with too many treats, the effects can be downright lethal.

Petplan, a pet health insurance company, released data that shows candy-related pet health problems and emergencies increase by 284 percent in the week after Halloween. Granted, that number comes from their specific claims data, and doesn’t include data from other insurers or non-insured pets; but based on this number, just consider how many candy-related trips to the vet go unreported, due to the majority of people that don’t have pet health insurance.

For more tips on how to avoid the biggest health hazards to pets at Halloween, read on…

  • Chocolate: everyone knows the dangers of chocolate to dogs. But how dangerous? Just one ounce of dark chocolate can poison a 50-pound dog.
  • Raisins: While everyone knows the dangers of chocolate for dogs, the dangers of raisins are lesser known. They’re actually extremely poisonous to pets, especially dogs. Even in small doses, raisin consumption can cause kidney failure in four-legged family members, so treat these treats the same as you would sugary sweets.
  • Candy wrappers:Even if you’re careful to keep candy out of reach of your pet’s paws, keep fun, crinkly wrappers out of their reach too. They can lead to intestinal obstruction, which often requires surgery. 
  • Keep pets calm: Pets can get seriously freaked out by the constant doorbell ringing, not to mention an overwhelming amount of small ghouls and goblins running around the neighborhood. Consider setting up a room with water, food, toys and a comfy pet bed where your pet can stay safe and sound. He’ll probably feel a lot calmer away from the Halloween fray anyway.
  • Safe and comfortable pet costumes: According to the National Retail Federation, 14.7 percent of pet parents will dress up their pets for Halloween. (And earthbath is a fan, as long as your pet is! We’re running a pet costume contest on Facebook – check it out!) If you costume your pet, make sure that your pet doesn’t mind the costume. Some find it very stressful, and for these anxious animals, we don’t advocate making them uncomfortable or unhappy. For those in costume, check to make sure that it’s costume safe and doesn’t constrict your pet’s movement or their ability to see or breathe freely. And even if you do dress your pet up, don’t leave the costume on for very long: pets in costumes can become overheated very quickly.