Published on: September 25, 2017
Author: Lauren Piandes
Category: Holidays, Pet ID, Pet Safety
Filed under: , ,

Halloween isn’t just for children anymore! According to the National Retail Federation,  sixteen percent of Americans will dress up their pets for Halloween.  The most popular pet costumes? Pumpkins, hotdogs, lions and pirates!   Celebrating Halloween festivities with your pet can be a fun bonding experience but a few precautions are necessary to prevent your furry friend from getting lost.

Trick or Treating and Parties

Before you head out, ask yourself these honest questions.

Will my pet enjoy this?  Is he confident and well-socialized? Or will he be fearful, stressed and try to escape?  

  • Do some trial runs with his costume before the big event to ensure that he is comfortable and relaxed while wearing it.
  • Make sure that your pet is microchipped with all of your contact information up to date.
  • A well-fitting collar (such as a flat buckle collar or a martingale collar)  and visible identification tags should also be worn. Make sure that the costume doesn’t interfere with his collar or harness and leash. Your pet shouldn’t be able to back out of his collar or harness if he gets frightened.  Of course, never use a prong or choke collar which could inflict injury if your dog gets scared and pulls back.
  • Leave the retractable flexi-leash at home and use a traditional 4 or 6 foot lead instead.  Flexi-leashes can become a frightening, clattering “monster”  behind your dog, if you accidentally drop it during the fun.  This can cause your dog to flee in terror and can result in injury if they run into traffic.  Flexi-leashes can also cause serious burns to humans and other animals.
  • Your pet’s costume also shouldn’t interfere with his field of vision.  You wouldn’t want your pet to get frightened and nip a child or adult if they approach him suddenly or bend over him and he can’t see them.


Handing Out Candy

Set your pet up for success and safety when the trick or treaters come to your door.   Cats are probably best  safely contained in a quiet room or in their carrier.   Dogs may enjoy the visitors, but to prevent them from accidentally darting out the door or nipping an inquisitive child, use a baby gate as a barrier at your front door.  Then you can simply pass the candy out over the gate while your dog can observe the fun but still back away from the children if he feels threatened.  If your dog becomes stressed by the trick or treaters, put him in a quiet room until all is calm.


One More Tip!

If your dog or cat is already missing, Halloween is a great time to spread the word in your neighborhood.  Slip a lost pet flyer (along with the candy, of course!) into every trick or treater’s bag.  You can print two or four to a page to save on printing and ink costs.


Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!