Make Halloween Fun—Not Frightful—for Animals: PETA Shares Tips

For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

Every Halloween, PETA hears about families who had to make midnight trips to the emergency veterinary clinic—so to help keep the holiday from turning into a real-life horror movie, PETA is sharing tips for a safe Halloween.

  • Candy’s not dandy. Chocolate and many other types of candy are toxic to companion animals, so keep these items (and their indigestible wrappers, which can cause intestinal blockages) out of reach. That means no decorative bowls of candy on the coffee table!
  • Costumes for animals are a fashion don’t. Constrictive Halloween costumes can trip animals, confuse them, limit their mobility and sight, and even choke them. A festive bandana is a safer option, but the best option is no clothing at all.
  • Keep dogs at home. Crowded sidewalks, costumed humans, and shrieking kids can overwhelm and frighten even the friendliest dog, resulting in unpredictable behavior that puts them—and unfamiliar kids who may run up and try to pet them—at risk. The safest place for dogs is at home, but keep the next tip in mind.
  • Trick-or-treaters can be scary! Animals can get stressed out by the ringing of a doorbell all night long, and they could even run out the front door while their guardians are busy giving out candy. So, keep them safe and calm in a separate room with the TV or soothing music playing—and make sure that they’re microchipped and wearing current ID tags, just in case.
  • Keep cats indoors, especially on Halloween. Indoors with the family is the safest place for cats year-round, as free-roaming ones are vulnerable to the dangers of cars, other animals, diseases, and cruel humans—but keeping them indoors is critical at the end of October, when abusers target them, especially black cats.

“The candy and costumes that make October 31 fun for humans can be downright deadly for dogs and cats,” says PETA Senior Director of Cruelty Casework Stephanie Bell. “Our animals count on us to keep them safe, and PETA’s tips can help families prevent heartbreak on Halloween.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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