No scaredy cats here…it’s almost the spookiest night of the year.  Halloween pet safety is paramount on 31st of October!

In Australia, Halloween is getting bigger and bigger every year.  Halloween is a lot of fun but scary creatures, silly costumes, decorations and treats can be frightening and even dangerous for dogs and cats.

We have 7 tips sourced from a range of experts for your Halloween pet safety and enjoy the fun!

7 Tips for Halloween pet safety

  1. No sweets and chocolate

    Don’t give your pets Halloween sweets and chocolate.  Sweeteners are very toxic and chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats.

  2. Ensure pet identification

    Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip and collar) in case it escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters.

  3. Keep away from decorations

    Halloween pet safety

    Watch out for Halloween decorations. Photo:

    Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets. Carved pumpkins or candles are very easily knocked over causing a fire hazard or burns.  Decorations pose the same risk as Christmas decorations – choking, obstruction, electrocution.

  4. Take caution with your pet’s costume

    Only put your dog or cat in a costume if it is safe and your pet loves it.  If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while it is wearing a costume.  If your pet seems distressed, remove the costume or wear a festive bandana.

  5. Don’t bring your dog

    Although tempting, do not bring your dog along for trick-or-treating. Even the best-trained dogs can become spooked or aggressive in the noise and confusion of Halloween. Children you encounter may also be fearful of dogs.

  6. Keep pets inside

    Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.  Boisterous kids dressed in unusual costumes can freak out even the most social of pets. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night or biting if your pet is wary of strangers.

    Halloween pet safety

    Keep pets inside for Halloween pet safety. Photo: Petco Vampire Cape

  7. Prevent animal cruelty

    Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night in the USA.  Keep your cats inside several days around Halloween to minimise the risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.  Black cats are especially at risk.  In fact, many shelters in the  USA do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.  As Halloween is still a relatively new festival in Australia, this advice may seem extreme but it is better to be safe than sorry!

Origins of Halloween

Pre-Christian Celts divided each day and year into halves, with the dark half coming before the light half. The Celtic New Year, Samhain, was celebrated on November 1. Therefore, October 31 was a time of transition from darkness to light.  When Irish Celts converted from paganism to Christianity, Samhain became All Hallows, the celebration of all the faithful living but especially the dead.  The modern celebration of Hallowe’en on 31 October (All Hallows Eve) dates back to the 1840s when Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine came to America.  Source: University of Sydney’s Professor Carole Cusack, Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Studies in Religion

Halloween pet safety sources

American Veterinary Medical Association
Dr Deidre Clack, The Cottage Animal Hospital