SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Keep animals safe at Halloween

Happy Halloween animal lovers! Please remember that today can be a little too scary for animals – here are our best pet safety tips.

Stash your treats away from your pets

Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous or lethal for cats and dogs. Be particularly careful with sugar free chocolate or lollies too: anything containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious health problems in pets. Even the wrappers of chocolates and lollies can be dangerous if eaten, as they can cause a blockage. Keep all your sweet treats stashed away in a place where your pets can’t reach them.

Costumes can be extra scary for animals

Think your mask is scary for your friends? Consider how frightening it could be for your pets too! Remember that your animals don’t understand the concept of costumes, and seeing you or strangers wearing strange clothing or masks covering your face might make them anxious.

Keep your pets safe inside

Trick-or-treating might be fun for people, but it can be scary and stressful for your pets. Lots of visitors arriving at the door can be too much to handle, so keep your cats and dogs in a separate room away from the front room. Consider keeping your dog inside for the night if they are usually outdoors too – trick-or-treaters may inadvertently leave a gate or door open, leaving your yard unsecured. And always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification—a collar with identification tags and a microchip will help them be reunited with you if they do get lost.

Playing dress-ups? Keep it simple!

We know it’s tempting to try and involve your pets in Halloween costume fun too. But please remember that for many cats and dogs, wearing sometimes restrictive clothing is very stressful. Any clothing your pet wears (for costumes or practical purposes) should not constrict their movement, hearing, make it difficult for them to breathe, bark or meow. Instead, have fun with seasonal collars or festive bandanas!

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