Pet Precautions for Dogs on Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time and there will be numerous children at your door seeking candy. However, Halloween is a stressful time for dogs. They don’t comprehend the continuous stream of people coming to the door and even the calmest child-friendly canine can be stressed enough to bite, not to mention the variety of health hazards to your dog. The American Kennel Club suggests the following precautions to ensure the safety of your dog and trick-or-treaters.

Toxic Treats

Many of the sweet treats enjoyed by humans at Halloween are toxic to canines. Some can even be deadly. Dogs will eat candy, wrapper and all. Chocolate in any form is especially dangerous. Keep all chocolate away from dogs, including candy and baking chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.

  • Anything containing xylitol, most often used in sugar free items
  • Hard candies can be a choking risk. They can also clump in the belly and cause an obstruction
  • Grapes and raisins can cause renal failure
  • Candy wrappers can become lodged in the throat or intestines


Even costumes specifically designed for canines can be dangerous. Beads, buttons, snaps, glow sticks and stickers, and elastic fabric are intestinal hazards. Costumes can also result in your dog getting overheated or having difficulty breathing.

Home Décor

A myriad of decorative items is available for fright night, many of which are battery-operated. Keep motion-activated décor, flashlights and similar items away from dogs. Candles are especially dangerous around wagging tails and curious noses.

Canine Behavior

Even the friendliest of dogs can get overwhelmed at Halloween. The best solution for your dog’s safety, and that of trick-or-treaters, is to sequester your canine in a quiet room or a crate – even if you have a fence. The same is true if you’re hosting a Halloween party. Take your dog for a walk during daylight hours before festivities begin or trick-or-treaters arrive. You’ll be able to see any potentially dangerous Halloween items and prevent your canine from ingesting them.

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