Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Halloween Pet Safety

Halloween can be an especially stressful time for pets. Below are some safety tips to help you and your pet get thru this fun but potentially dangerous time of year:

  • Trick or treaters can cause loud and excessive noise and frighten your pet, so try to keep your pets inside in a quiet room where they are insulated from the Halloween ruckus.
  • Pets, especially dogs, that are easily excitable or threatened by strangers should be kept from the front door so they can not bite anyone or run into the street. With many people visiting the home in strange attire, even normally clam pets might overreact. Keep pets on a shorter than normal leash if you plan on walking outside on Halloween. Again, scary and weird looking trick or treaters could provoke aggression in even the nicest pet.
  • Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Ask kids not to share candy with pets.
  • Be careful with lit pumpkins and candles because pets can knock them over and start a fire. Therefore ensure that all burning objects are out of pet's reach. Remember that cats can jump high, and birds can fly, so try to confine a pet if it demonstrates an "unhealthy" interest in flames (e.g. it puts its paws in lit pumpkins or tried to play with candles).
  • Avoid costumes held in place by rubber bands, which can be uncomfortable and, more important, rubber bands mistakenly left on a pet can quickly burrow into the animal's skin and cause injury. Additionally, rubber bands in the wrong place can choke a bird.
  • If a pet wears a costume, make sure it is not constricting, causing your poet to trip, or blocking its vision. Do not force a pet to wear a costume if it demonstrates discomfort. All of the above can cause undue stress and possibly cause aggression in even the nicest dog, goldfish or iguana.
  • Don't leave pets outside on Halloween. many animals disappear as pranksters and those with darker intentions tease, abduct, or even kill pets.
  • Be especially watchful of black cats, who are frequent targets of cruel activities on Halloween. Try to keep black cats inside for the week of Halloween. Many animal shelters make black cats unavailable for adoption the week before Halloween because of black cat abuse.

A little prevention can go a long way to ensure that the entire family has a very happy Halloween!