Spirit season is upon us! And while “trick or treat” night may be fun for us, it can be stressful or even dangerous for our animals if we aren’t careful.

Here are five tips to keep your pets safe and calm during Halloween:

  • Do not take your pets with you trick-or-treating. The noises, smells and costumes may appear frightening or threatening to your pet.
  • Keep your pets indoors. Make sure to keep your pets in a quiet room away from the Halloween activity.
  • Keep treats out of reach.  Sweets are dangerous for pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and hyperactivity, along with increased thirst, urination and heart rate. Candies containing a sweetener called xylitol are also toxic.
  • Decorate with caution. Keep lit jack-o-lanterns and candles out of reach of pets. Aluminum foil and cellophane can cause intestinal blockages if ingested. Fake cobwebs, rubber eyeballs, glow sticks and fake blood are also a hazard and should be kept away from pets. If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately. Or you can call the ASPCA’s 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435 (charges a fee of $65 per case).
  • Ensure your pets are identifiable.  Make sure your pets are wearing collars and current identification tags and are microchipped, in case they escape. This will make it much easier to be reunited.

Whether you’re planning on a quiet night at home or preparing for “fright night” festivities, help your pets enjoy a safe and stress-free holiday this Halloween with these easy and conscientious tips.