Search on Experts' advice

Halloween with our furry companions

Halloween with our furry companions

- Categories : Education

© Martine Lavallée, BAA and animal health technician

During Halloween, a popular pagan festival with Celtic origins, humans find it fun to confront their fears by dressing up and decorating their homes, but our dogs and cats don't like all the fuss. Indeed, this celebration, while entertaining for humans, can be a source of stress and danger for our four-legged friends. 


It's essential to take steps to ensure their safety and, above all, their well-being throughout this festive period. Here are a few precautions to take with our precious pets this Halloween:

Calming anxiety: To spare our kitty or dog any stress, or if our pet already has an anxious temperament, consider placing it in a quiet room. We can put on low-key comfort music or talk radio, which usually has a calming effect, during some rowdy Halloween parties. Plan for food and water, as well as a litter box, in the case of a cat. Also, a less festive family member can keep him company and pet or play with him, acting as a relaxing presence. Finally, be sure to close the room's windows to muffle sounds and cries from outside. If we're planning a Halloween party at home, let's keep the noise to a minimum so as not to disturb our pets. 

 On the other hand, if our pet is suffering from severe anxiety or behavioral problems related to Halloween or other events, we should consider consulting a veterinarian for advice, or even medication, and recommendations specific to our pet. 

Toys that dispense treats or kibble for pets offer another way of controlling anxiety by serving as a distraction. While our cat or dog is deeply focused on pushing the ball, shaking the object or solving the puzzle to receive its reward, it is less attentive to the continuous cacophony of visitors in disguise. 

It's also possible to use calming natural products such as Calming Spay which creates a soothing, relaxing atmosphere, and to add Calme Emotion, a homeopathic remedy that helps maintain physical and emotional balance.

Scary costumes: Human Halloween costumes can frighten our pets. It's best not to dress up if your pet is very reactive. 

Also, if we decide to dress up our pet so that we can photograph it and post the shot on social media, let's make sure the disguise is comfortable and free of parts that could be chewed or swallowed. We should also avoid elastics that could impede blood circulation in his legs or around his neck. And let's make sure their vision isn't obstructed by a mask, wig or hat, for example. And that they can move around without tripping.

Keep pets indoors: The fireworks and loud noises associated with Halloween can scare our companions into running away. Let's make sure our pets stay indoors during the night. If we have to take them out, we should keep them on a leash, as many animals run away on Halloween night. Also, it's important to be careful when the doors to the house open to give candy to the "little monsters".  

Identifier les animaux de compagnie : Assurons-nous que nos animaux portent un collier muni d'une médaille d'identification en cas d'évasion. Optons également pour une puce électronique pour garantir leur repérage s'ils sont retrouvés par une tierce personne. Si nous décidons de nous balader dans notre quartier avec notre animal de compagnie le soir d’Halloween, nous courons le risque de rencontrer une foule de créatures surexcitées. Par conséquent, choisissons un harnais solide ou un collier robuste et préférons une laisse plus courte. 

Restons attentifs aux signes indiquant que notre animal ne se sent pas à l'aise pendant la promenade, tels que le refus d’avancer, les gémissements, les crachats ou les grognements. Dans de pareils cas, pour éviter des incidents désagréables, rentrons immédiatement à la maison.

Beware of tricks: Pranks can startle and stress animals. So always be aware of their reaction. If so, keep them out of sight to avoid confusion. 

Caution with pumpkins and decorations: Pumpkins are commonly used in Halloween decorations, but they can be toxic to animals if ingested. So keep pumpkins out of their reach. Other Halloween ornaments, especially string lights and candles, can be dangerous to pets. Make sure your pets don't chew through electric cables, and keep them away from open flames.

Keeping animals away from candy: Candy is an integral part of Halloween. But many of them are very dangerous for animals. Candies containing chocolate or the sweetener xylitol (found mainly in chewing gum) can be toxic to animals. Let's make sure that children don't give sweets to animals, and keep bags of sweets out of their reach. As for wrappers, if ingested, they could be a source of asphyxiation and poisoning. If we suspect that our dog or cat has eaten sweets, or if we've caught them in the act, we should consult a vet as soon as possible.


By following these precautions, we can ensure that our pets have a safe and stress-free Halloween. Let's not forget that the key is to be attentive to their needs and show foresight to minimize risks. Happy Halloween to you and your precious four-legged friends!

Where to find the products in this article?

Use our store locator. You will find our products at many retailers.

Share this content