Howl-o-ween Pet Safety

During the Halloween festivities, Americans typically purchase 600 million pounds of candy, 90 million pounds of chocolate candy and spend $420 million on Halloween pet costumes. Emergency and toxicology calls increase by 12 percent during the week of Halloween, which makes this holiday the busiest time of year for the Pet Poison Hotline. Keeping pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky during this spooky time of year!


We all think our pets look adorable in costume, but make sure they are completely comfortable wearing one; do not cause any unnecessary stress. If your pet doesn’t mind wearing a costume, make sure it fits properly and that it’s not inhibiting their ability to move, see or breathe. Also, check the costume for any dangling parts that could easily be chewed off or caught on other objects.

If you plan to use glow sticks as part of your costume, the bright light can attract your pet to want to play with it. While the substance inside glow sticks, dibutyl phthalate, is non-toxic, it can cause your furry family member to drool uncontrollably due to the bitter taste.

Trick or Treat

If you plan to have candy around the house, please keep it in an area where your pet can’t access it. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are extremely toxic to pets. Also, any candies that contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can cause serious liver damage to your furry family member. If you think your pet has ingested anything toxic, please call Blum immediately at: (773) 327-4446 or the ASPCA Poison Control at: (888) 426-4435.


If you have carved a pumpkin with a lit flame inside, place it high enough or in an area where your pet can’t knock it over and/or start a fire. Curious cats can be attracted to the flickering light and could either be burned or singed by the flame. Pumpkins are considered non-toxic but can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested.


With the door opening frequently for trick or treaters, it’s best to keep your pet safely in a room away from the front door. Your furry family member may become frightened with strangers in costume knocking and could easily slip outside one of the times you open the door. In the event your pet manages to escape, make sure they are wearing a collar with ID tags to allow easy contact with the owner.

For any further Halloween-related questions, please contact us!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.