As Halloween approaches and you prepare for the thrill of trick-or-treat, be mindful of a dog or cat’s reaction to the hubris. Dogs and cats may be frightened by costumes. If you are pet sitting on Halloween, be careful about donning personal costumes and while walking among the parade of dressed-up revelers.

Other Halloween Safety Precautions should include:

Keep Candy Out of Nose Reach

While it’s a scream for trick-or-treaters to fill their buckets with confections, consumption of chocolate (and potentially xylitol) is toxic to dogs and cats. Wrapped candy, if eaten, is another hazard and possible intestinal obstruction.

Costumes for Dogs and Cats   

how to be a pet sitter

If you like to dress your dogs for Halloween, choose a costume that allows plenty of breathing room. Avoid costume adornments that can be chewed off, choked on or swallowed. A reflective costume is also a good idea.


Keep a watchful eye on candles burning inside pumpkins. Curious noses might get burned if they get too close, or worse, knock them over and start a fire. Best practice is to buy the LED-or battery style candles to minimize risk yet still have a glowing effect.

Keep Pets Safe and Indoors

Keep dogs and cats inside and preferably in a quiet room, away from the front door. The sound of the doorbell ringing will promote barking and the pack instinct to protect the family from strangers…especially if they are dressed in weird costumes and making strange (spooky) noises! Make sure all dogs in your care have a collar and I.D. tag with current information; especially if they aren’t micro-chipped. Some dogs will be sufficiently scared and attempt to escape or slip out the door during the commotion.

Bringing Fido Along

If you take a dog with you while trick-or-treating, stay on the sidewalks or driveways to avoid what might jump out at them at the door. Many homeowners like to dress in costume and spook the kids when the door is opened. Those sincere intentions may not be well received by a dog.

Professional pet sitters are always focused on pet safety. Make it a Happy & Safe Howl-aween!

 photo attributions: dog in ghost costume by Matt Hill on pexels and dog in witch costume from private client, owner of “Roxy”