Do you love dressing your pet up for Halloween? We both LOVE seeing all the great pet costumes and decorations, AND we know that keeping our pets safe is an important step of Halloween preparation. Whether it’s food/candy, decorations, costumes, or just ensuring your pet’s physical safety, we’ve got all the tips and considerations to keep your festivities safe and healthy for everyone!
TELL US: What are your Halloween plans this year? And what tips can you add?
This video is part of the Pet Voices PRESENTS series. CLICK HERE to see all the series videos.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:01
Halloween can be such a fun time for the entire family, including your pets, your dogs and your cats. But there are several hazards, several precautions that you should take to make sure that everyone is safe while they’re enjoying this fun holiday.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:14
And those are things that range from food and decorations, to costumes, and just reducing the chances of your pet escaping. And we’re going to go through all of them. Let’s start with food.
BEWARE OF CHOCOLATE, SUGAR, AND XYLITOL
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:25
Probably the most common thing on Halloween is candy. And one of the things that comes with candy is sugar and chocolate. And neither of those things are very good for either your dogs or your cats.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:37
And specifically, xylitol, is really bad. More so for dogs and cats, but it’s still not a good thing. Keep the chocolate and sugar up and away. Don’t let your pets get into the chocolate, get into the sugars, or get into anything with xylitol. I would definitely watch that one because it’s amazing how they can find wrappers. And that’s probably a little bit more of a dog thing, like finding chocolate and eating it than it is a cat thing. But it can affect both of them. So, keep it up and keep it away.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:03
Right. And if you do have a cat that’s more interested in your candy or your children’s candy, then you might want to even put that in a cabinet or put it away because cats may have a tendency to jump up somewhere. Or if you have a Great Dane that can just put its head on top of a table or countertop, that’s definitely not a safe place for chocolate or candy.
I will also add that if your pet does, whether it’s your dog or cat, does consume any kind of chocolate, save that wrapper because it’ll help you to determine how much danger they’re potentially in based on how much chocolate, whether it’s milk chocolate or dark chocolate, is in what they ate. So, keep that and then, if you need to go to the vet, you have that for reference to tell them.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:46
And sugar is also not good. So, just remember that just because it’s not chocolate, any kind of candy, maybe not as bad as chocolate, but it’s still not great on their tummies. And I know Jessica might have a personal experience from that.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:01
Yes, I do. One my dogs, Luna… let’s just say she ate half a bag of powdered sugar. It was not a fun day after for sure. So, don’t let your dogs get into a bag of sugar or a bucket of candy that contains a ton of sugar.
Luna does not recommend it.
AVOID NUTMEG & PUMPKIN SPICE
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:20
And neither does Jessica. Also spices that are common now in Halloween time, even just fallish time like nutmeg and pumpkin spice. Be careful of those. They tend to go together. And we have a lot of pumpkin things right now. You want to make sure your pets are not getting into any baked goods that might have those kinds of spices in them.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:40
Yeah, nutmeg is definitely the spice to be aware of. And it is in pumpkin spice mixtures. You can enjoy your pumpkin spice muffin, but don’t let your dog or your cat enjoy it.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:52
Bottom line, be aware of where all the food and candy is and try your best to keep it away from your pets.
KEEP HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS PET SAFE
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:58
And now, let’s talk about decorations. If you’re like me, you have tons of Halloween decorations all over your house, all over your yard. That’s all fun and great. But you also want to consider what you’re actually putting there and how that can impact your pets and their daily lives.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:13
We bring out special things in our house just for Halloween. Things like candles. If you’re going to light candles, be aware of where they are for your pets access to get into them, especially cats that can jump up and onto things. Just because you put it up doesn’t mean it’s safe or that your pet is safe.
Also, be aware of lights in general. You should know if they are LED, which is a little bit safer and doesn’t burn as much energy or as hot. Or if they are old school lights. Be careful with those because they can get really hot. So, whether that means you are keeping it away from the curtain, but also keeping it away from your pet because that can burn them if it gets so hot or it could get on their costume and maybe burn the costume. There is a lot of concern around really old lights, so check your lights. Make sure you know if they are LED or if you need to be extra specially careful with them.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:01
One of the things I associate with Halloween is putting a candle in a Jack O’ Lantern. But now to make things a little bit safer, I’m looking to get an LED “fake” candle that I can even potentially turn on with a remote, so I can have it lit every night. Another thing that you may have is those creepy cloths, something that you may hang up to make it look a little bit spookier. And that’s great. But you just want to keep in mind that your dog or your cat could potentially get caught in some of this extra fabric. So, if you have creepy cloths around your house, outside, just keep that in mind so that your pets don’t get tangled up in that particular web.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:43
And then there are some of us who like to have audio or animatronics, things that move. Just be aware of how those might spook your pets. Because one of the things we want with Halloween pet safety is making sure that you’re not scaring your animals, your dog or cat, and making them run. Whether that’s run and hide or run out the front door, which we’ll get to on how to keep that from happening. But if it’s new and it’s not around a lot, it just might be something that all of a sudden scares them.
We have a big grim reaper and one of our dogs does not like it. So, we keep it outside, so he doesn’t have to see it a lot. Even that can spook them. So, you just want to have those extra things that you’re putting out in mind of how they are going to affect your pet.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 5:28
Definitely, keep in mind that it’s still their home, too. And while you may understand and enjoy these grim reapers, ghosts, and goblins that are out front or inside your house. They don’t understand why they’re all of a sudden there. So, keep that in mind.
And then also, when it comes to decorating, seasonal plants are a big thing. Mums are massive this time of year, but they are actually poisonous to both dogs and cats. So, my rule of thumb is that I get a couple of mums each year because I think they are beautiful, but I keep them outside. I keep them on my front porch, so my dogs are never around them, when I’m not supervising them and they might be at risk for munching on them, to avoid any potential poisoning issues.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:09
And the other thing about décor and decorations is just thinking about where you’re putting it. Say, for instance, you bring home a plant, you put it up in the perfect place in some cabinet. But it’s in a place where your cat can knock it over. That can just be a hazard for them, for you, for your floor. So, just have that extra thought as you are decorating for Halloween or any holiday, really. And just make sure you are putting things in places that you feel secure, that it feels like it’s not going to impede your pet in one way or another so that everybody can just be a little bit more safe.
IF YOU DRESS UP YOUR PET, KEEP THEM COMFY
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:41
Yes. And now we’re onto costumes. So, I hope you have a fun costume picked out for yourself for this year and for your pets, whether it’s your dog or cat, assuming that they cooperate. And they like it, and it doesn’t cause any problems for them.
But that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about. Planning ahead, If you do have that costume, try it on today. Try it on now. Make sure that it fits your pet. Make sure that they are comfortable in it. And that it doesn’t cause any issues or potentially cause any pain for them.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 7:12
Because some of them have strings that go underneath and you just want to make sure you’re not cutting into their skin at all. You want to make sure that they can move and that they are okay with it. As much as we love doing it, sometimes it’s just for the picture and your pet doesn’t need to stay in the costume because they don’t like it. I know I have a little one who is like, “Get me out of this thing.” So, I just don’t really put him in much. He gets a little bow tie.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 7:34
And that’s a great alternative, a bow tie or a bandana. It still keeps them festive and on theme. But it doesn’t necessarily impact their ability to do their thing and move around.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 7:46
Yeah, because there’s some costumes out there that add a lot of girth or height or different things that can mean they’re no longer really understanding their surroundings. And so, they’re knocking things over. They’re getting into things. They’re maybe getting tangled up in extra fabric or something you have hanging around. So, just thinking about all the pieces of what is going to be your decorations, the costumes, and how they’re going to all interact will help prevent any hazards from happening.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 8:11
And I keep thinking of that dog that dressed up as a spider that one year and the video went viral. And I can only imagine how weird he or she – I actually I don’t know if the dog was male or female – but how he or she felt in that spider costume. Because that was probably two or three times their normal body size wandering around with that. It was hilarious for us. But who knows how they felt.
MINIMIZE OPEN DOORS TO AVOID RUNAWAYS
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 8:34
Yes. So, just be cognizant of the decisions you’re making on costumes for your pets and how they affect both your pet and your surroundings. Which brings us actually to the idea of reducing chances of them escaping and keeping them physically safe and contained.
On a day like Halloween, trick or treaters are coming to the door or maybe just to your yard or however you’re choosing to participate in this particular year, but there is that opportunity for strangers. There are people who are in costume, so that’s different. They don’t just look like normal people, but they’re also mostly not people your pets are already familiar with. So, that can create some anxiety and you don’t want to spook or stress them.
If you are somebody who is going to be answering your door, I always put gates up to kind of create a place where I can open and close my door without my dogs being able to get all the way to it. And I just prep that ahead of time and it keeps them back. And that’s just one of my security things. But I also always make sure they are wearing their collars and they have their tags, just in case.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 9:35
And if your house isn’t set up so that you can put a gate, you may have to take the tactic of actually setting up a room and having your dog or your cat sit in that room while the trick or treating is going on. Because you definitely don’t want the risk of when the doors are opening so often for a pet to just make a run for it and go out that door. Because you don’t know what’s going to spook them or what’s going to cause them to want to run out that door. So, that’s another alternative. You could pick one of the bedrooms or if you can, close off your living room, and set up a space for them that is just for them. Make sure that there’s water. Make sure there is somewhere comfy for them to lay, whether it’s your couch, your bed, or a dog or cat bed.
And then, you could also even consider putting on some background noise. You could play around with turning on the TV or the radio. Put on something that would definitely not spook them, so I wouldn’t suggest your creepy Halloween music, even though that’s on theme. But something that’ll drown out that extra noise of all the children on the street or the doorbell ringing. Something that’ll distract them and help them feel more like it’s a normal day.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 10:40
And that’s kind of the key. For us, Halloween is fun and there’s excitement, but pets like routine. So, they want it to feel like a normal day every day. And this is a day that all of a sudden, there are strange people, there are strange sounds, and there are decorations. There is a lot going on. And so, just keeping that in mind from your dog or cat’s perspective. This day for us is exciting, but for them it is a little much. It’s important to know your pet, know how they might react to things not being normal and just prepare.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 11:14
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that if you do have a pet who does love people, you may choose to have your dog or even your cat out with you while you’re handing out candy. And if that’s the case, just make sure that you have, like Chloe said, a collar, an ID, potentially a harness, and then a secure leash attached somewhere that you know they are not going to be able to bolt and run off. That they’re going to be secure because, again, you don’t know what ghoul or goblin is going to creep them out on this Halloween.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 11:43
And so, with all of that, we hope you learned a few tips about food, about decorations, about costumes, and about keeping your pets secure. So, that you’re reducing the risk of them escaping for this Halloween.
We would love to hear what else you do. Leave us a comment below and tell us what are the tips that you have to offer. And then, also be sure to follow our page so that we can show up in your newsfeed every time we publish a new video. And be sure to subscribe, so that every time we publish a new video, we end up in your inbox.
What Halloween safety tip do you think is most important?