Locally-Owned in Oakdale and St. Paul, Minnesota

Here Comes Halloween!

Halloween pet dangers, Halloween and pets, pet health, pet safety, Halloween pet safety, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

While Halloween is a fun holiday filled with costumes and candy, there are dangers to keep in mind when it comes to your pets!


We all know chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Keep your pets far away from your kids’ candy bags. Remind your kids not to leave their candy out in the open or any wrappers on the floor. It’s best to put candy in an overhead cabinet, because dogs will often go to great lengths to get at chocolate, including opening lower cabinets, counter-cruising, and even opening a zipped purse! Trust us, we’ve seen it!
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and seizures.

Candy Overload

If your pet consumes large amounts of sugary, high-fat candy, it could lead to pancreatitis. This is very painful and often fatal. Pets may not show symptoms for 2-4 days after ingesting the candy.
Symptoms: Decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, kidney failure, and organ damage.


Some houses want to encourage healthy eating and give kids those little boxes of raisins. Yes, they’re great for your kids; but not your dog. Raisins and grapes are just as bad for dogs as chocolate is; in some cases, even worse! Even a small amount of either can cause kidney failure.
Symptoms: Vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, and severe kidney failure.

Candy Wrappers

When a pet wants candy, they don’t bother to remove the wrappers. Ingestions of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction.
Symptoms: Vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining defecate, or lethargy.

Halloween pet dangers, Halloween and pets, pet health, pet safety, Halloween pet safety, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

In addition to candy and raisins, keep in mind a few other dangers when it comes to Halloween and your pets:

  • Costumes: Yes, pets look adorable in their pumpkin, Yoda, and bumblebee costumes, but your pet may not enjoy it. Do not impair your pet’s vision, movement, or air intake if you do decide to dress up your pet. Also, make sure your pet does not ingest any metallic beads, small pieces, or other metals on the costume. This could result in severe poisoning.
  • Candles: Your pet may be tempted to touch a flickering flame or might knock over a candle with his/her tail. Be sure to keep candles away from your pets. Also, do not let your pet get into any pumpkins that have candles in them.
  • Pet Room: Keep your pet away from the front door. With the door bell constantly ringing, your pet might get anxious or your dog may jump on the little witches, superheroes, and Power Rangers. Also, avoid keeping your pet outside. Immature pranksters find it funny to scare animals. The safest place for your pet on Halloween is in a closed-off room.
  • Glow Sticks/Glow Jewelry: The glowing contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth for your pet, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.
  • ID Tags: In case your dog gets spooked by a mini Darth Vader at the door and takes off running down the block, make sure your pet has ID tags and a microchip. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

If your pet experiences an emergency over Halloween night and your family veterinarian is unavailable, contact your local animal emergency hospital. Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota’s Oakdale and St. Paul ERs are both open 24/7, every day of the year.

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