Don’t let Halloween be spooky for the furry family members! Read on for tips and tricks on taking the terror out of your pet’s Halloween!

1. Keep Halloween candy away!
Chocolate – All forms of chocolate (especially baking or dark chocolate) can be dangerous and sometimes lethal for dogs. Chocolate contains substances known as methylxanthines, which are toxic to dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
Wrappers – When a pet wants candy, they don’t bother to remove the wrappers! Ingesting foil, plastic wrappers, and cellophane can cause life-threatening obstructions.
Xylitol – Candy or gum artificially sweetened with xylitol can be very dangerous for dogs.
If you suspect your pet has eaten something that’s bad for them, call your veterinarian immediately.


2. Leave your pet at home on Halloween!
While trick-or-treating might be fun for your family, it could be too much for your pet. Kids approaching your dog with spooky costumes and loud noises can be stressful.
It is safer to keep your pet at home. Create a safe and comfortable space for your pet during Halloween if you are away from your house. Try setting up an area in a quieter area in your house away from windows. Make it cozy for them by adding blankets and a few of their favorite toys. Use a crate if that is where your pet feels safe. Turn on the TV or relaxing music to help distract your pets from the loud noises outside.
If you do decide to venture out with your dog, make sure he/she is on a secure leash (no retractable leashes) at all times. Keep a close eye on your pet’s behavior for any signs of stress. If you are out at night time, use a reflective leash.


3. Lost Pet Prevention!
Make sure your pet’s Microchip and Collar ID’s are up to date. This is the fastest way to reconnect you and your pet if you are separated. If your pet does get loose, below is Animal Control’s contact information.
  • James City Animal Control 757-565-0370
  • York County Animal Control 757-890-3601
As a safety measure, prepare a list of emergency numbers:
  • Your veterinarian
  • A 24-hour emergency veterinarian
  • Heritage Humane Society
    • 430 Waller Mill Rd. Williamsburg, VA 23185
    • 757-221-0150 ext.0
    • CLICK HERE for our online Lost Pet Report


4. Decorate with your pet in mind!
Halloween decorations can pose serious help risks for your pet.
Pumpkins – Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are not toxic, but when consumed in large quantities can cause digestive issues. Rotting pumpkins may harbor bacteria.
Jack-O-Lanterns – lit candles in Jack-O-Lanterns can become fire hazards when pushed over by a curious pet.
Decorations – Festive Halloween decorations can cause your pet harm. Some hazards include small rubber decorations (choking risk), glow sticks (possible poisons), fake cobwebs (choking risk or could entangle pets and wildlife), and festive lights (could electrocute your pet).


5. Watch the front door!
Trick-or-treat! Your door will most likely be opening and closing more than usual on Halloween. Keep an eye on your pet and make sure he/she does not accidentally wander outside when the door is left open.