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Home > Dogs > 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs: A Guide to Protect Your Pet

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs: A Guide to Protect Your Pet

Golden Retriever dog dressed in a witch costume for Halloween

Halloween is a magical holiday filled with fun festivities and traditions. Your dog can definitely join in on the fun as long as you’re mindful of your dog’s safety. You’ll most likely need to make a few adjustments to your Halloween plans as several things can be unsafe for your dog, like candy and frequent foot traffic at your door. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that your dog has a happy Halloween experience.


The 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs

1.  Store Candy in a Safe Location

Sugar and some artificial sweeteners are unsafe for dogs to eat. While sugar isn’t toxic, it can still cause dogs to get sick if they eat too much. Many common Halloween candies also contain highly processed ingredients, which aren’t safe for dogs to eat.

So, make sure that you store the candy in an unreachable spot in your pantry. Candy bowls should also be placed in a safe spot so that your dog can’t sneak up on them in between visits from trick-or-treaters.

man holding plastic container
Image credit: Stanislav71, Shutterstock

2. Avoid Purchasing Chocolate

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to chocolate in the home. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and while it’s rare for fatal incidents, your dog can still get very sick from eating a tiny bit of chocolate.

There are plenty of other types of Halloween candy that exclude chocolate. So, it’s easy to replace, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. If you have children that will go trick-or-treating, make sure to keep tabs on their candy and be mindful of any chocolate they receive.

3. Place Decorations in Safe Locations

Putting up decorations in your home is all part of the fun of Halloween. If you have a dog, it’s important to place the decorations in areas that your dog can’t reach or doesn’t frequent. If your dog is potty trained to go outside, avoid placing any decorations in spots where it normally goes to relieve itself.

Make sure also to hide any wires to prevent tripping and injuries. If you have electronic decorations that make sounds, you may want to place them outside by your door rather than inside. Your dog may feel agitated by these types of decorations or mistake them for toys.

orange carved halloween pumpkins on outdoor stairs
Image Credit: Sergey Platonov, Pexels

4. Avoid Using Unsafe Decorations

Some Halloween decorations can be extremely unsafe for dogs. Avoid using real candles, decorations with pointy or spiky ends, and glow sticks. While the types of fluid inside glow sticks are typically non-toxic, they can still cause an upset stomach if ingested.

Even if you have a relatively calm dog, the disruptions and surprises that occur throughout Halloween can cause it to act or behave differently. So, it’s best to avoid placing unsafe decorations throughout the home and completely prevent potential accidents.

5. Wear High-Quality Costumes

You can find plenty of fun Halloween costumes for dogs, but not all are safe for them. Poor-quality costumes can have loose material that dogs can chew on and accidentally swallow. They can also be extremely uncomfortable for dogs.

When shopping for dog costumes, look for ones made with soft, breathable material. Also, make sure that it has holes for the collar and harness rings to slip through so that your dog can walk comfortably on a leash while wearing the costume.

Dog ready for halloween
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

6. Have a Designated Dog Area in the Home

Not all trick-or-treaters will like dogs, so it can be helpful to have a caution sign on your door to let people know that there’s a dog in your home. If your dog just can’t resist rushing to the door every time the doorbell rings, you may need to create a designated space for your dog during trick-or-treating hours.

It’s helpful if your dog is crate trained, but if it’s not, you can keep your dog in a gated area or a playpen and have food, toys, and treats inside to keep your dog busy while you answer the door.

7. Keep Distance from Doors When Trick-or-Treating

If your dog is walking with you during trick-or-treating, wait on the sidewalk with your dog while your children walk up to the doors to get their candy. You never know if there’s another dog or pet at the door.

There’s no guarantee that other pets in the homes you visit will be friendly or that your dog won’t try to lunge at them. Also, no matter how cute or friendly your dog is, some people may not want dogs at their door for valid reasons, such as allergies.

Seasonal front porch halloween decorations
Image By: Robin Jonathan Deutsch, Unsplash

8. Make Sure Dog Tags Are Updated

Several factors can cause a dog to run off. Scary costumes, ringing doorbells, and exciting energy can all make a dog bolt out the door or yank on its leash. In the case of any incidents, you want to make sure that the information on its dog tags is updated. While you’re at it, check up on your dog’s microchip to ensure that your contact information is also current.

9. Manage Your Dog’s Energy

Keep your dog entertained and distracted while trick-or-treaters are visiting your home. Exercising your dog beforehand can help with keeping them calm. However, some dogs may just feel too excited or anxious with the doorbell constantly ringing.

You can try distracting your dog by playing with them and their favorite toys. If your dog is feeling anxious, you can try using calming treats or scents to help soothe them. It’s important for you also to stay calm to assure your dog that it’s safe and there’s no need to worry about anything.

person giving a treat to a black and brown dog
Image By: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

10. Remember to Store Away Costumes and Candy

After all the festivities are over, take some time to store all your candy and costumes in a safe and unreachable location. You can plan and clear out storage spaces beforehand so that you aren’t searching for spots while you’re feeling tired from a long night of celebrating.

Along with storing away costumes, make sure to place any Halloween makeup and prosthetics in a safe spot. A curious dog can quickly cause a mess if it gets into a stash of makeup, and it can be unsafe for them to ingest certain products.



There are plenty of ways your dog can enjoy Halloween safely. You can make a dog-friendly experience by being mindful of candy, costumes, and decorations. With just a few adjustments or modifications, you can create new traditions and memories with your dog that make Halloween extra special every year.

Featured Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock

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