From tricks to treats, Halloween can sometimes come with dangers to our furry friends. Pet owners can protect their four-legged family members by being mindful of their F.E.A.R.Food, Environment, Attire, and Recovery.

Cat Candy Bowl

No cats were harmed in the taking of this picture


Stash the Treats

You’ve probably heard that chocolate can be poisonous to many animals including dogs, cats and ferrets, but don’t forget about wrappers – they can cause your pet to choke, and because your pet lacks thumbs, they don’t always remember to remove the wrapper before eating the treat!

Halloween means candy and tasty treats are plentiful and easily accessible to young children and pets. Candy is toxic to animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death.

Use Decorations with Caution

Some of the best parts of halloween are the cobwebs and plastic spiders, but these are the very things that can cause tummy aches. Animals can also tip over the candle in a jack-o-lantern and burn themselves or start a fire. Curious pets may be faced with stomach discomfort if they decide to nibble on your pumpkins!


Keep your pet inside

There’s plenty of reasons to keep your pets inside. With the doorbell ringing, and the door being opened and closed repeatedly that night, consider putting your pets in a safe and quiet room to avoid unwanted escape artists. Turn on a radio or TV to help suppress outside sounds and knocks at the door.

Black CatCats Beware

If you happen to have an outdoor cat, consider keeping your him or her indoors during the Halloween season. It’s especially important to keep black cats indoors during the period around the holiday, because sadly they may be the target of pranksters. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

Out and About

It might be fun in theory to bring your pet with you, but you could save yourself a few headaches by leaving Fido at home while trick-or-treating. There’s so much to see and hear, dogs can become extra excited and they might be difficult to handle. If you are bringing Fido along, keep them on a short leash while trick-or-treating and make him visible by adding reflective tape to his costume or a collar with LED lights.


We hear ya, your pet was born to be a superhero, but unless you know for sure they are 100% comfortable with the outfit, think twice. Dressing your dog in a costume inhibits his ability to communicate to other dogs. In a chance meeting with another dog, your dog may give off signals that inadvertently lead to an aggressive confrontation.

If your furry friend doesn’t mind dressing up, make sure that you select a costume that doesn’t cause stress and injury to pets, making it tough to move, hear, breathe, bark or see. Never leave costumed pets unattended. If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit.”Dog Pumpkin Costume


It’s our goal that these tips will help you prevent any sickness, injury or lost furry bellies, but if you are faced with one of these things, you’ll be thankful you have contact information for your veterinary, emergency clinic, and local animal shelters easily accessible.

We often forget that your pet’s identification tags and microchip information need to be updated each time you move or change phone numbers so that current contact information is always available on your pet.

If you observe an animal in immediate distress or danger at Halloween or any time, please contact the Ottawa Human Society emergency services at 613-725-1532.