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October 24, 2011 at 7:01 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

A Safe Howl-o-Ween For Our Pets

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

Halloween is a wonderful time for children and parents alike, but our pets might feel differently about this spooktacular holiday. Here are some tips to ensure their safety while still enjoying all of the fun activities that come along during this deliciously creepy time of year!

Pet Costumes

I know all the rage is to dress up our little fur buddies in Halloween costumes (heck, I'll admit to it) but our pet's safety and happiness has to be considered here.

For starters, you should never, ever block a dog's or a cat's ears. Covering their ears with any type of hat or garment is a big no-no. Dogs and cats use their ears for many things besides listening. They're a vital part of their communication system, so covering them immediately disrupts the harmony of your animals. The same goes for their eyes: Your pet needs to see freely and clearly. If a costume obstructs their eyes or ears, it greatly impedes their comfort level and could cause undue stress.

Our pets even communicate with their fur! When your cat arches its back and puffs out their fur, they are making themselves look bigger and scarier to say "Stay Away!!!" Dogs will often do the same in order to let others know that they're uncomfortable with a situation. So a pet costume that covers their body should only be worn for a short period of time.

Keeping Our Pets Indoors

Even if you own a dog or cat that enjoys being outside, it's imperative that during Halloween night, you keep them indoors, especially cats that are all black or white. Sadly, many people are superstitious during this time of year, and they may try to scare or harm them.

If your animals are not trained to sit quietly when a door is knocked on or opened, keep them confined in a safe and quiet room to prevent them from a "door dart" escape. Halloween is definitely not the night to be chasing animals around the neighborhood, so make sure to isolate them properly. Also, if your animals don't play nice with strangers, this is definitely not the time to train them. Don't ruin everyone else's experience with a rambunctious or intimidating pet.

If you're having a Halloween party, remember to keep your pets safe. It's okay to have them join in the festivity for a little while, but to help relieve or prevent any stress they might experience, provide them with a safe, quiet location somewhere in the house.

Lastly, candles burning low on the ground and pets wearing costumes are not a good mix. Consider using battery operated candles instead.


If you are a pet owner, you probably already know that chocolate can be lethal. But did you know that raisins can be as well? Also, sweets containing the sweetener Xylitol can cause liver damage and in some instances, death. Macadamia Nuts are also considered unsafe for your fur kids.

Human candy and sugar is not safe for our pets, but if you are feeling bad about leaving the fur kids out of the fun, consider purchasing Halloween treats that are made especially for your pets.

I hope these tips give you and your pets a safe and fun Howl-o-Ween!

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  • Victoria,

    Great blog! It's good to know about what areas to avoid dressing up on a pet. Also, never really thought about not letting a cat out on Halloween, but that makes perfect sense. I will have to pass that onto my parents. Their cat loves the outdoors, but she should stay inside that night!

  • Thanks Bri....although our Casey is never to happy with our decision of keeping him in for the night of Halloween, at least it puts my mind at ease knowing he is safe and sound for the evening :)

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