Halloween isn’t always fun for pets – tips on how to keep your animals safe as the scarefest begins

The fun of Halloween is often in creating a little bit of harmless fear – but sadly for our four-legged companions, the fright isn’t always fun.

Apart from the unexpected noises and lights, some of the goodies left out for trick or treaters could make your pets ill.

Veterinary nurse Melanie Sainsbury, of Natures Menu, says: “Pets can find the change upsetting. With food left out and decorations that spark ­curiosity, pet parents need to be more cautious.”

Melanie gives the following tips for how to keep pets safe this October.


Some of the treats, such as chocolate, may be toxic to your pets. Symptoms in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, panting and restlessness and in severe cases muscle tremors, seizures and heart failure.

Some sweets contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is poisonous to pets and causes vomiting, seizures and possibly liver failure.

If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, the best thing you can do is call your vet immediately for advice. You can make sure your pets don’t miss out on all the fun by giving them some treats of their own.

Pumpkins and ­decorations

Pumpkins are not toxic, but if consumed in large quantities they can cause stomach upset in pets.

Halloween decorations can contain wires, clips and novelty items which can be very tempting to an avid chewer. Be cautious where they are placed.


Small pets like guinea pigs should be kept inside (Image: Getty)

If your pet is alarmed by people dressed up in scary costumes, put them somewhere safe where they have no chance of escaping out of the open door or hurting the trick or treater.

Don’t leave your cat or dog outside and make sure small pets – such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens – are also safely away for the festivities.

Signs of stress can be barking, or scratching furniture. Try to calm your pet rather than disciplining them, as this will do little to deter their fear.

Keep up to date

Ensure every pet’s microchip and collar has your up to date address so that if they do get spooked and run away, they can be safely reunited with you.