Family Veterinary Clinic

1413 Defense Hwy #100
Crofton & Gambrills, MD 21054



Tips for Halloween Pet Safety


Halloween is a spooky time of year and can put your pet in unnecessary danger. It can cause unpredictable behavior in even the most well-trained animal. By taking just a few common sense steps, you can avoid over stressing your pet, and any surprising reactions to scary situations.

Halloween is a spooky time of year and can put your pet in unnecessary danger. It can cause unpredictable behavior in even the most well-trained animal.

Here are some tips for Halloween pet safety:


Keep your pet confined.

Create a safe, quiet retreat for your pet during the Trick-or-Treat night in your neighborhood.  Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. The barrage of strangers dressed in unfamiliar and scary costumes can alarm some pets, increasing their anxiety. Dogs and cats can become skittish due to the incessant ringing of the doorbell, constant squeals, and chatter just outside the door. Consider making a special haven whether it be in their crate, a bedroom, or placing a baby gate across the kitchen.


NO candy of any kind.

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Halloween candies containing the sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. Also, be cautious to dispose of wrappers properly. Your pet could smell the sweets on the wrapper and eat it, which can cause abdominal pain or obstruction, in addition to being a choking hazard.


Keep your pet away from all Autumn plants.

Pumpkins and decorative corn may not be toxic, but will cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in great quantities. Also, according to the ASPCA, chrysanthemums are among many toxic plants that can harm your dog. Mums contain pyrethrins and sesquiterpene, both of which are irritants to your dog’s skin and digestive systems.


Decorate safely.

Jack-o-lanterns add spooky flair to your home at Halloween. Be sure to keep them out of your pet’s reach when the candle is lit. There is also a variety of battery operated and rechargeable candle options available. Take caution when draping any fabrics not to create any tripping hazards. Animals can sometimes be clumsy, and you wouldn’t want your beautiful display to come tumbling down because your pet was running through the room. Also use caution with any decorations that can be chewed on. Because they are not specifically manufactured chew toys, they may be toxic.


Halloween costume safety.

While your dog or cat may look adorable in their costume, it could cause safety issues. Make sure the costume fits properly and does not obstruct vision or restrict movement or breathing. It may also be a good idea for your pet to wear the outfit around a few times before the holiday to get used to wearing the costume.


Proper identification.

Make sure your pet is properly identified, in case it should escape during trick-or-treating. Halloween is without a doubt the worst night for your pet to get lost or wander the streets. Not just because of the anxiety it may cause, but because of unkind pranksters that might be about. Have a chip inserted, or at the very least ensure your pet is wearing proper tags.

If you have any questions about Halloween pet safety or are interested in identification chips, contact the professionals at Family Veterinary Clinic. We encourage all our patients to be as healthy as possible. We are also available should you encounter an unfortunate emergency. Our staff is knowledgeable, kind, and experienced in any situation.

All through the rest of October when you visit Family Veterinary Clinic you can guess the weight of our “Great Pumpkin” on display. The winner will receive a gift basket filled with treats for you and your pet. This annual contest is supported by Doepkens Farms located in Davidsonville, MD.