Halloween can be a fun and exciting time, but it can also be frightening to your cat or dog. We’ve put together a few suggestions to help reduce fear and anxiety for your pet this Halloween!


Some pets enjoy dressing up, others don’t. If you’re not sure how your pet will respond, try letting them sniff and investigate the costume before slowly dressing them. If you see signs your pet is scared (tucked tail, ears back, shaking, whimpering, pulling to get away, etc) then it’s time to remove the costume. Pets should always be closely supervised if wearing costumes to ensure they don’t chew or ingest parts or get tangled.


Doorbells can cause anxiety for some pets, especially when ringing so often on Halloween. It can help to create a safe space away from strange noises and stranger outfits worn by little trick-or-treaters. Set them up in another room with a comfy bed, an article of your clothing and some treats.


As you prepare for trick-or-treaters, take care to ensure the candy stays away from your pets. Veterinary emergency clinics see pets with upset tummies, diarrhea and vomiting caused by a candy binge. Worse still are chocolate or candy containing the sweetener xylitol, both which can be toxic to pets. Consider setting up outside on the porch or end of the driveway to hand out treats and reduce the stress of doorbells, knocks & strangers in spooky costumes.


On Halloween, lit pumpkins can easily become a safety concern if a scared pet accidently knocks them over. Also look out for wires and cords used to hang decorations. These can be hazardous to your pets too.


A stressed pet can become unpredictable and one of the greatest risks at Halloween is a pet running out the door, especially cats. Even well trained pets can dart outside when you answer the door and are busy passing out candy. Using leashes, crates, or a safe space elsewhere in your home can help keep them safe.