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  • Kelley Post

Halloween Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Many people look forward to and enjoy Halloween as a fun-filled annual community event. Dressing up, decorating, trick or treating, and celebrating with family, friends, and community members makes October 31st a very special day. Many people also include their pets in these festivities.

Peachy in her Halloween costume Photo credit: Kelley Post

If you are planning to include your pet in your Halloween plans, it is a good idea to take some precautions to keep your pet and those around them safe.

There are many different costumes on the market for pets and many ideas for making homemade costumes. However, if you struggle to get the costume onto your pet, and you can tell that they are not happy about dressing up then maybe rethink this idea. After all, Halloween is supposed to be fun. If you do plan on dressing up your pet, here are a couple of tips. Don’t cover up the pet’s face. This will cause the pet to be upset and may lead to injury or aggression in the pet. Make sure the costume fits properly. If it is too big, the pet may get tangled up and trip, causing injury. If the costume is too small, it may cause difficulty in breathing and pain. Do not remove the pet’s identification tags. If your pet slips away from you through an open door or at an event, having the tags on will be very important in getting the pet back.

If you are having difficulty finding an idea for a pet costume and don’t want to spend a lot of money, you might want to check out your local thrift store. There you will find second-hand costumes and a variety of other items that you could put together to make a costume. We found an adult-size tiger costume that I adjusted the length of the arms and legs for Penny.

There were many unique options that are just waiting for a bit of your creativity! We had two bumblebee costumes from the previous year for Mr. Chewy and Peachy. However, it turns out that Penny is one of those dogs who really does not like to get dressed up and went a bit crazy with the costume on and came very close to hurting herself as she was tripping over the costume as she ran around the back yard. We won’t do that again.

Keep treats out of reach! There are several types of candies that are toxic to pets, chocolate being one of them. Other candies as well contain ingredients that could severely harm or poison your pet. It is always a good idea to keep the number of poison control on hand.

Decorations can also be dangerous. Pets can get tangled up in wires or knock over a pumpkin with a candle causing a potential fire. The pet may get scared of the spooky decorations and respond aggressively or run away.

When the trick-or-treaters come to your door, it may seem appropriate to introduce your pet to the guests, however even if your pet is extremely friendly, the children coming to the door may not be used to animals and may be frightened. Your pet may be overwhelmed by a crowd of people in masks and respond inappropriately growling or snapping at someone.

The pet may bolt through the open door and go missing. It is best to keep the pet confined to a safe area when the doorbell rings.

If you are dressing up for Halloween, you may decide to prank your pet to get a reaction. This may cause undue stress for the animal. It may be all in fun, but the pet would be very confused and may respond badly.

With all the concerns for your pet’s safety on Halloween, one idea that you may want to consider is hosting a Halloween pet party for a couple of friends and their fur babies. You could have a contest for the best costume, a pet parade around your backyard, a trick-for-treats game and treat bags to take home filled with pet treats! Pre-made Halloween pet treat bags are available at Winnipeg Pet Treatery.

If you have an idea for a pet story in the Pet Post column of Voxair, contact Kelley Post at

Riplees Ranch Winnipeg would like to advise you of our business name change. Our new name is now “Winnipeg Pet Treatery” We can be found at

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