Elmwood-Grove Animal Hospital

8035 West Grand Avenue
River Grove, IL 60171



Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be fun and festive for people, but for pets, it can also be dangerous. There are many Halloween pet safety hazards that are well-known (such as Chocolate toxicity) and some that are not (like Xylitol toxicity). Here are some tips to help you ensure that your pet has a happy and safe Halloween...

Things to watch for on Halloween:

  • A constantly ringing doorbell and strangely dressed people at the door can be stressful for a pet. Some pets may experience diarrhea or even injure themselves if crated or constrained. Consider keeping your pet in a separate quiet room, away from the door, when trick or treaters arrive.  Strange people in even stranger clothes can frighten some pets. 
  • Strangers in costume may prove an otherwise friendly pet into unexpected aggressive or fearful behavior. 
  • Pumpkins or candles within a pets range are a fire hazard. Wagging tails and frightened cats zipping through the house can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire.
  • Keep your pets indoors. Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious, and black cats are particularly at risk. Also, make sure that your pet doesn't run out of your home when you answer the door. In case your pet does escape, make sure it is wearing proper identification. Pets with identification are much more likely to be returned. 
  • Halloween treats are for people, not pets. Be sure to warn children not to share their treats with pets. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can be hazardous if swallowed and chocolate is poisonous for some types of pets. 

Candy Concerns:

  • Candies, gum, mints, baked goods and chocolate containing the "Sugar Free" sweetener Xylitol are highly toxic, causing rapid hypoglycemia (low blood pressure) and liver failure in dogs and possibly other species. 
  • Chocolate is also toxic to pets. A 50lb dog would have to eat about 50 ounces of milk chocolate (but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate) for a toxic dose, but much smaller amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea. signs of chocolate toxicity are: tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and in sever cases, seizures and death. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or Xylitol, contact us ASAP! 
  • Lollipop sticks and other plastic parts can cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Pet Costumes and Safety:

  • If you dress your pet in a costume, be sure that it doesn't interfere with the pets ability to breathe, see, hear, move or bark. Also, consider reflective collars and gear for you and your pet! 

Happy Halloween from all of us at EGAH!