halloween hazards for pets

Halloween Hazards: Keep your pets safe this spooky season!

It’s one of our favourite times of the year, when leering pumpkins glow in the windows, terrifyingly cute ghosts and witches roam the neighbourhood, and those long-forgotten cobwebs in your home are (finally!) an essential part of the seasonal décor again! When it comes to our four-legged friends, though, ghouls and goblins are the least of their worries, as Halloween can harbour some hair-raising dangers for our pets. Whether it’s parties, pumpkins or parasites, we’re here to tell you the terrifying truth, so read on…if you dare!


Frightening foods

If you’re filling your cupboards with treats to hand out to any little witches or warlocks that might knock on your door, take care to keep then well out of reach of curious snuffling noses.

Chocolate is bad news for dogs and cats. Even small amounts of the sweet stuff can be poisonous for our pets, and can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors, heart problems and even seizures. Sugar-free sweets and treats are not much better; many contain a substance called xylitol, which can cause our pets’ blood sugar to drop dangerously low. This can lead to vomiting, weakness, collapse and seizures; and can even be fatal in some cases. Even raisins, currants and sultanas can be toxic for our pets; so it’s undoubtedly best to keep all these treats well away from snaffling jaws!

It’s not all doom and gloom though, it’s good to know that once trick or treating is done for the year, finishing up any left-over treats yourself is firmly in your pet’s best interest! 

Halloween hazards for pets

Costume crisis

If the idea of a fancy-dress party makes you want to run screaming for the hills, you’re definitely not alone! Although many people love the idea of dressing up as the weird and the wonderful, our pets aren’t usually to be counted among their number! In fact, vets advise against dressing up our four-legged friends; it can restrict their movement and make them feel stressed. 

Not only that, but fancy-dress outfits designed for pets don’t have to adhere to any strict flammability standards, and the same can be said for DIY costumes you make yourself. If you’re in any doubt about how dangerous this can be, Vets Now carried out some fire safety tests on a range of costumes designed for pets, and the results were alarming, with some outfits igniting with seconds of coming into contact with a naked flame.1

So, cute as some pet outfits might look, we’d advise steering clear and leaving our four-legged friends as nature intended; after all, they are pretty adorable just the way they are!

Halloween hazards for pets

Dangerous decorations

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a masterfully (or otherwise!) carved pumpkin in pride of place, but for obvious reasons, make sure that when it’s lit, it’s kept well out of your pet’s reach! Once the celebrations are over, dispose of the pumpkin shell sooner rather than later, as mouldy food contains toxins that can cause stomach upsets for our four-legged pals.  

Other decorations can pose a danger to our pets, too. Glow sticks may look great, but our pets can mistake them for chew toys, and the chemicals inside can irritate their mouths, not to mention cause copious drooling! Anything dangly and sparkly, including Halloween-themed tinsel, can seem like a tempting toy for our feline friends, and can cause stomach upsets and even gut perforation if swallowed.

halloween hazards for pets


Blood-sucking monsters

If the thought of creatures hungry for your blood is your idea of a nightmare, then spare a thought for our four-legged friends; Dracula may be a work of fiction, but the blood-thirsty enemies our pets have to face are only too real! Fleas and ticks sink their teeth into our pets’ skin and feed on their blood; these pests can pass on diseases when they feed, and even cause anaemia. And if you’ve ever experienced the nightmare of a flea infestation in your home, you’ll probably agree that a few ghosts in the attic are far preferable, as flea eggs, larvae and pupae take over our houses, and can be hard to get rid of!


So while you may well enjoy scaring yourself with fictional tales of terrifying beasts, do your pets a favour and keep them protected against the real-life monsters that threaten their health! A monthly flea and tick treatment such as Fipnil Plus will scare away these creepy crawlies, and help keep you, your pet and your home protected!


how to remove a tick


Nightmare on Worm Street

As if skin-crawling parasites weren’t bad enough, the world of worms takes the spine-chilling scare factor to a whole new level! If any of the following sound like the plot of a horror movie, then we’re afraid to tell you they’re all terrifyingly real, and likely to be lurking in a neighbourhood near you…

  • Hookworm larvae hide in the soil and burrow into passing paws (or feet!) leading to a seriously itchy skin infection!
  • The flea tapeworm can grow up to 70cm long inside your cat or dog!2 It releases tiny worm segments that pass in your pet’s poo, and crawl in the fur around their bottom.
  • Whipworms damage the wall of your dog’s guts, and feast on the resulting blood.
  • Roundworm larvae lie dormant in your pet’s muscles, and reawaken during pregnancy. They wriggle their way across the placenta and into developing puppies before they are even born. They also infest the milk of pregnant dogs and cats, infecting newborn pups and kittens as they feed.

The truly horrifying thing about these creatures, aside from being far from fiction, is that they don’t just creep out of the shadows for one day a year; worms threaten our pets all year round. Prazitel Plus tablets for dogs and Prazitel tablets for cats kill every type of intestinal worm commonly affecting UK dogs and cats; used regularly they banish intestinal worms and help keep our pets free from these wriggling pests!

worm treatment
Trick or Treat Terrors

Even if you’re not hosting a party, you may still be welcoming a steady stream of vampires, pirates, zombies and princesses to your door, and for our four-legged friends, this constant arrival of strangers, however small and cute, can be really stressful. Your best option is to keep your pet away from the action altogether; making sure they have a comfy bed in another part of the house with a few pet-friendly treats of their own will help them avoid the terror of other people’s children!

So don’t have nightmares this Halloween, keep those scaredy-cats and pup-kins safe, and enjoy a terrifyingly good Fright Night the pet-friendly way!