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Halloween and Your Pet

Tips from The Humane Society of the United States

If you get the willies when ghosts and Grim Reapers come rapping at your door on Halloween, imagine how frightened your unsuspecting pet could be. Constant knocks and doorbells, followed by chants of "Trick or Treat!" can be very stressful on pets, leading to panic and other uncharacteristic behaviors


The best place for pets on this hallowed eve is a safe, quiet spot out of the way of the activities and the continually opened front door, says The Humane Society of the United States.

"As creatures of habit, pets thrive on daily routines and some can become very agitated when those routines are disrupted," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Companion Animal Section of The Humane Society of the United States. "For their comfort and safety, the most considerate thing you can do is keep them away from the evening's activities."

Here are some easy ways to ensure a safe and happy Halloween:

  • Be sure all pets (including indoor only cats) are wearing collars with ID tags should they escape despite your best attempts.
  • Keep pets indoors away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. 
  • Hide the candy stash; it can be harmful to pets. Chocolate can be especially toxic. 
  • Keep your pets in their own furry birthday suits. While some pets may seem to like playing dress up, most pets dislike the confinement of costumes and masks, and they can sustain injuries if hampered in their movements.

Lighted candles pose an obvious threat, but other Halloween decorations are no treats for your pet or neighborhood wildlife:

  • Hang dangling decorations up high to avoid entanglement and other hazards. 
  • Keep floors clear of items that may end up as your pet's new chew toy and a choking hazard. 
  • Use fake cobwebs sparingly. Indoors they can pose a real threat to pets, cats especially, who may ingest them. Outdoors they may adversely affect wildlife, with small birds being especially vulnerable to becoming entangled in the webbing. 
  • Immediately remove any decorations an animal could get their head into such as plastic pumpkins or skulls. They are attractive to wildlife such as deer or raccoon who may think there is food inside and end up stuck on their heads endangering their lives. 
  • Nocturnal critters such as raccoons, opossums, and foxes wake up and venture out for food, and Halloween night is no exception. Wild animals are just that – wild – so never approach one.

For additional tips on pet care, visit 

M. Stukey

Riley County Humane Society 

P.O. Box 1202 

Manhattan, KS 66505