Halloween can be a fun time for humans, but it can be frightening for our pets. Spooky masks, scary decorations, ringing doorbells, and the commotion of trick-or-treating can cause stress. To help keep your pet safer, follow these tips adapted from Best Friends Animal Society.

  • Pets should be kept inside during trick-or-treating. Use caution when answering the door so your pet doesn’t dart outside. If you notice your pet getting stressed, put them in a quiet room away from the noise and commotion.
  • If your pet is normally kept outside, consider bringing them inside during the festivities, or keep them in your garage or basement.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing a collar with a pet license and ID tag securely attached. If they are microchipped, make sure their information is up to date with the chip provider in case they do escape.
  • Candy is for people, not dogs and cats. Chocolate can be deadly to our furry friends. Candy containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener) can also be very dangerous. Keep any stashes of candy out of pets’ reach. If you think your pet has gotten into Halloween goodies, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Wires and cords that light up your holiday decorations can be deadly if chewed on. Make sure pets don’t have access to them. 
  • Jack-o-lanterns with lit candles should be kept away from pets who might accidentally knock them over and start a fire.
  • While they may look cute, most pets don’t enjoy wearing Halloween costumes. If you do decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume is not annoying and is safe for your pet. Costumes should not constrict movement, breathing, or vision. Small dangling pieces can be choking hazards. Ill-fitting costumes can get twisted and caught on objects and hurt your pet.  
  • The chaos and costumes on Halloween can be frightening even to the friendliest dogs, making them act differently than normal. It’s best not to include them in trick-or-treating or Halloween scavenger hunts.
  • If you want to make the holiday special for your furry family member, consider buying or making Halloween treats that are safe and healthy for them.

If your pet does get loose, check with all local shelters and animal rescue groups, as scared pets can sometimes travel long distances. You can file a report at kingcounty.gov/LostAPet. If you find a stray pet wandering in your neighborhood, you can find tips and information to help reunite them with their family at kingcounty.gov/FoundAPet.