The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

Safe Halloween Activities for Dogs

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time!  However, this is also a time when we see an increase in the number of dogs visiting the veterinary ER.  Here are some dog-friendly Halloween activities and things to consider so your entire family can have a safe holiday.

Homemade Halloween Pet Treats 
Human Halloween candy usually involves chocolate and artificial sweeteners. Both of these ingredients are toxic to dogs. Instead of Halloween candy, help your dog celebrate Halloween safely with homemade pet treats! These treats have the benefit of being preservative-free and can be made into a variety of festive shapes.  Unfortunately, these treats should not be offered to pets with food allergies.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats (Recipe from American Kennel Club)

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
  3. Roll the dough into a ½ inch thick roll.
  4. Cut into ½ inch pieces and shape as desired.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

Pet Costumes

In reality, pet costumes are usually more fun for the humans involved than the pets.  Here are some guidelines to minimize stress for your furry companion as he parades around in his costume.

  • Make sure there are not parts of the costume that can be chewed off or eaten.
  • Avoid glow sticks.  While the material is not toxic, it tastes very bad.  If he chews open a glow stick, your pet will likely become distressed and drool excessively.
  • Choose a costume that does not cover the pet’s eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
  • Get a costume that fits appropriately; not too big or too small.
  • Give your pet time to get used to the costume.  Have your pet wear the costume for a few minutes every day for about a week before Halloween. Give them plenty of praise and treats for tolerating the outfit!

Block Party

Many dogs like to romp and play with their four-legged companions. Consider throwing your canine fur baby a Halloween party.  To minimize the risk of injury, ensure that:

  • All dogs know each other well and get along
  • The area is outside and fenced-in
  • There are no toys or treats that may trigger a disagreement
  • There is adult supervision at all times

Also, remember that times of excitement can make pets nervous. A pet under stress may choose to quickly leave the party through an open gate. Make sure your pet has an up-to-date ID tag and microchip.

Everyone at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota wishes you a very happy and safe Halloween!

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