Five Ways to Make Halloween Less Scary for Your Pet

Whether your pets are furry, feathered, or even scaly, Halloween can be a nightmarish event for any kind of animal. From the doorbell ringing all night, to strange humans in ghoulish costumes prancing about, to bright lights and creepy décor just waiting to be chewed on, your pets have every reason to be terrified! Some animals will just run and hide under the bed; however, others may become so freaked out that they try to run out the front door… or start barking uncontrollably at their owner in a Buzz Lightyear costume.

But don’t worry! These tips will help you avoid any worst-case scenarios on the spookiest day of the year:

1. Keep your pet away from the door

The best thing you can do for your pet on Halloween is keep them far, far, FAR away from the front door. There should be as many lines of defense between your pet and escape as possible. If you can put their crate in a closet, in a bedroom, and upstairs, so much the better! They’ll be that much farther away from the disturbance, and more likely to stay calm and not stressed out.

2. Tire them out

For larger animals like dogs and cats, make sure that you go for a long walk or have a long play session during the day before the trick-or-treaters show up and start hanging on the doorbell. If your pet has played hard all day, they won’t have as much nervous energy to freak out with. Some pets may be so tired they’ll happily curl up under the bed and sleep the evening away, not to be disturbed by any silly humans in masks and capes.

3. Costume carefully

It is not funny to scare your pet with a costume, whether it’s a just a horse mask or a full-on Sailor Moon cosplay. While your dog relies primarily on sense of smell to identify her humans, she also knows what you look like, and if she sees you in a wig and cape with face paint on, she will know that is not normal human behavior! To help with this fear, consider putting on your costume in front of your pets, to help them see that it’s really just you under the silly outfit.

4. No candy

Your pets will always try to sneak into the candy bowl—since candy is bright and colorful, smells sweet, and is shaped like a treat, after all—but they should NOT be allowed even a small sample. Chocolate and other sweets can cause animals all sorts of digestive problems like vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet starts to exhibit these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.

5. Beware the décor

The black and orange lights and inflatable ghost in your front window are certainly adorable, but they also come with all sorts of electrical wiring that can be hazardous for your dogs and cats. Many pets like to chew on wiring, making electrocution a very real possibility for small dogs and cats. Make sure to tack all wiring under a carpet or down with electrical tape, to avoid any such accidents.

As you enjoy this haunting season, take some time to watch out for your furry friends and make sure they’re safe and not stressed out. It’s okay to dress up and have fun, just make sure that your pets don’t feel too spooked!