corgi in leaves.

Goblins and witches and ghosts, oh my! Halloween is upon us, and with the spookiest time of year comes good-natured tricks and chocolatey treats, but it’s not all fun and games for pets. Costumed characters and strange sounds can be frightening for our furry friends, and scaredy cats and dogs are more likely to make a run for safety. 

To help prevent lost pets on Halloween, our team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates asks that all of our pet families practice diligent Halloween safety for pets. The following tips should help! 

Keep Pets Indoors

A foolproof way to prevent lost pets on Halloween is to confine pets to a comfortable, quiet room during trick or treat. This will keep them from darting through an open door to escape the commotion, plus, your pets will be less stressed when away from new people, strange voices, and scary masks. Prep the room ahead of the festivities, and make sure your pet has a soft bed, favorite toy, food and water, and litter box if needed. 

Trick or Treating With Dogs

The scariest Halloween happening would be a lost pet. If you do have a dress-up loving dog that enjoys the pageantry of a steady stream of costumed kids, follow these tips when trick or treating with dogs: 

  • Keep your pet leashed, preferably with a reflective leash and harness. 
  • Stay on well-lit sidewalks and keep your pet close when crossing the street.
  • Make sure your pet wears a collar with proper identification.
  • Consider a smart collar, which can help you track your pet’s location using GPS.
  • Have your pet microchipped and keep your contact information up to date.
  • Brush up on commands like “stay” and “sit” ahead of time in case your pet should break free from his leash. 

Watch for These Warning Signs

Even if your dog is typically a total crowd-pleaser, the strange sights and sounds can eventually cause pets to become overstimulated, and this can increase the chances that your pet may try to run away. Be on the lookout for these clues that he’s had enough of the hubbub:

  • Showing any signs of aggression, such as growling or snapping
  • Cowering or tucking his tail between his legs
  • Lowering his ears or shaking
  • Making strange vocalizations
  • Hunkering down in one spot and refusing to move

More Ways to Practice Halloween Safety for Pets

Besides a pet running away, there are other Halloween frights to watch out for:

  • Keep hazardous foods (such as chocolate, raisins, and sugar-free sweets) out of paws’ reach.
  • Be vigilant about well-meaning kids offering candy to your pet when trick or treating with dogs. 
  • Use LED candles inside your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Remember that mums are toxic to cats and dogs.

We hope you and your pets have an absolutely spooktacular Halloween! Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment or if you have any questions about Halloween safety for pets.