Best Friends Animal Society Offers Tips for a Safe and Spooky Halloween

Black and white cat wearing a pumpkin costume on his head
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Alina Hauptman :

Assets: Photos, Dog and Cat Trick or Treat Video, Haunted Kitten Mansion Broll  

Halloween is almost here, and to prevent this holiday from becoming a scary one for you and your pets, it’s important to consider common activities and items that can be dangerous to your furry friends.   

To guarantee you have a happy Halloween, Best Friends Animal Society put together some basic precautions for pet owners to keep pets safe on All Hallow's Eve:   

  • Pets should be kept inside during Halloween, if trick-or-treating is happening in your community. Use caution when answering the door so your cat or dog doesn't dart outside. If the extra door knocking or doorbell ringing stresses out your pets, put them in a quiet room away from the noise.   
  • Make sure your pets have current ID tags and that microchip info is up to date, just in case they do escape.   

  • Candy is for kids, not dogs and cats. Chocolate can be very toxic to our furry friends. Candy containing xylitol (artificial sweetener) can also be dangerous. Keep any stashes of candy out of pets' reach.  

  • Wires and cords that light up your holiday decorations can be deadly if chewed on. Please make sure pets don't have access to them.  

  • Jack-o-lanterns with lit candles should be kept away from pets who might accidentally knock them over and potentially start a fire.   

  • If you do decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume is not annoying and is safe for your pet. Costumes should not constrict movement, breathing, or vision. Small dangling pieces can be choking hazards. Ill-fitting costumes can get twisted and caught on external objects and hurt your pet.   

  • Most dogs would prefer not to go trick or treating, or participate in Halloween parades or scavenger hunts. The chaos and costumes and excited kids can be frightening to even the friendliest of dogs and cause them to act differently than normal.   

  • You can make the holiday fun and special for your pets by buying or making them treats or toys that are healthy and safe and just for them!  

And just for fun, here are a few positive myths and beliefs about black cats.   

  • Black cats are a symbol of good luck in Great Britain.   

  • A strange black cat’s arrival at a home signifies prosperity in Scotland.   

  • In Japan, it is said that a lady who owns a black cat will have many suitors.   

  • Fishermen’s wives would keep black cats in their homes because they believed the cats could protect their husbands at sea and bring them home safely.    

  • Sailors considered a black ship cat to be especially lucky.    

If you don’t yet have furry friend to keep you calm on this frightful night, consider adopting or fostering a one from a local shelter or rescue group.  



About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 400,000 last year. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,600 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit