Veterinary Viewpoints: Keeping your pets safe this Halloween – Oklahoma State University

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Media Contact:
Kaylie Wehr | Coordinator, Marketing and Public Relations | 405-744-6740 | [email protected]

Halloween is a fun time of dressing up, decorating and enjoying sweet treats. Pets
are part of the family so of course we want to include them in the fun, but we must
be aware of Halloween hazards.

When it comes to treats, keep all candy out of pets’ reach. Candy is dangerous for
pets, especially chocolate and sugar-free treats. Veterinary emergency services see
a high number of intoxication cases during this holiday, as many are unaware of its
toxic effects on pets. Instead, opt for holiday treats created for pets, which can
be purchased or even made at home, just be sure that they don’t contain artificial

There are few things more adorable than a pet in a costume, but we must pay attention
to our pet’s cues and avoid forcing a pet into wearing a costume. Some pets are used
to wearing clothes, but many are not and some costumes can be distressing. Instead,
try getting them a themed bandana or collar.

Aside from treats and costumes, there are other hazards we can expose pets to during
Halloween. Here are some tips from our Behavior Service on how to make sure your pets
stay happy and safe on Halloween:

  • When trick-or-treaters come for candy, knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell
    can be stressful for some pets. Make sure they have a safe place in the house to stay
    during trick-or-treating to avoid them running away when the door is open.
  • Make sure your pet has some form of identification. A microchip is the best option.
  • Candles and lit pumpkins can pose a risk to a curious kitten or puppy who may accidentally
    get too close to sniff or explore, potentially causing its fur to catch fire.
  • Do not take your dogs with you to trick-or-treat. It will be dark outside and they
    can get scared, causing them to run away and be at risk of getting hit by a car.
  • Be wary of decorations that can be swallowed, get stuck in their bellies or make them
    intoxicated. Also look out for the potential of electric shock. Reconsider items such
    as balloons, string decorations, decorations containing toxic materials and electrical



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