Spooky-Safe Tips

Less Spooky. More Safety—For Pets.

  • Soften the scares: Every day is Halloween for some pets—bright lights, loud noises, and unfamiliar environments. It’s a scary world out there for them, so go easy on the scares that may be sent their way.
  • Easy on the treats: Do not feed your pets people food—that includes Halloween candy. While they may enjoy some tasty treats made just for them, like these options from Publix, be on the lookout for these high-risk items that may tempt your pet:
    • Chocolate: It contains theobromine—which may be toxic to your pet.
    • Wooden sticks: Sticks used for caramel apples or ice pops can be a choking hazard.
    • Candy: Trick-or-treat sweets can upset their stomach.
    • Packaging: Plastic wrap can be a choking hazard or cause digestive issues.
    • Foil Wrappers: Aluminum foil can be as dangerous as a razor when swallowed.
  • Avoid Halloween heat: Don’t leave your pet in the car while you take the kids trick-or-treating.
  • Careful of candles and lit pumpkins: A wagging tail and lit candles are a fire hazard waiting to happen. Some pets are attracted to bright lights, so keep all lit candles in safe places. If you have a curious kitten, it might be better to avoid any kind of open flame.
  • Doorbell danger: Your doorbell will be ringing all night with trick-or-treaters. Your door will be opening a lot. Think about keeping the pets in another room—they could make a run for it.

halloween costume diy infographic
  1. Make an H-harness with black fleece. The middle part will go on the dog’s back. The rest will strap around its body. Measure accordingly.
  2. Create wings with red felt. They should be about six inches at their widest points and ten inches long (modify the size up or down for a smaller or larger dog). After cutting out the first one, lay it on top of red felt as your guide for the second.
  3. Create dots by cutting 2-inch circles of black felt. Hot-glue them to the wings.
  4. Attach wings to the harness by hot-gluing across the top and down the straight side of each wing.
  5. Hot-glue hook-and-loop fastener tape at each end of the harness straps.
  6. Create antennae strap with elastic. Measure to fit your dog’s head. Cut accordingly with a half-inch overlap. Hot-glue ends together to secure.
  7. Create antennae by bending pipe cleaner into a squared-off V-shape. Cut holes into head strap and stick pipe cleaner through. Hot-glue pom-pons to the ends.

Dress your pooch in its new Halloween Ladybug costume!

halloween costume diy infographic
  1. Business Cat: Cut out an old shirt collar.
  2. Shark Cat: Attach a dark blue cardboard fin.
  3. Wing it: With bat, angel, or fairy wings.
  4. Hippie Kitty: With tie-dyed bandanna.
  5. Super Cat: Attach cape to back.
  6. Trendsetter Cat: Add a bow tie. 

Perfecting Your Pet's Costume

  • Less is more: Pets usually don’t like having objects on their head and face. Stick to shirts, bandanas, or collar accessories.
  • Avoid rubber: Rubber bands can be a choking hazard and painful to a pet’s skin or fur.
  • Eye openers: Avoid anything that can obstruct vision.
  • Room to move: If your pet can tolerate a costume, make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. Tight costumes restrict circulation while loose costumes can tangle the feet and tail.
  • Bright ideas: It will be dark out. Make it easier for passing cars to see your pet. Try adding reflective tape to darker costumes.
  • Travel light: Heavy costumes can cause your pet to overheat. If your dog is panting more than usual, it’s time to remove the costume.
  • Start early: It may take time for your pet to get used to the costume. Put it on several times before the Halloween fun begins.

Super-Simple Pet Costume Ideas

  • “Tree-a” Pet: Put some plants around your pet’s collar.
  • Where’s Fido: A red-and-white-striped shirt is all it takes. A red hat, too, if your pet doesn’t mind.
  • Hipster Pet: Put a flannel shirt on your long-haired pet. It’s easy and cool.
  • Sleepy Pet: Just add pet pajamas.
  • Superhero: Buy it a superhero shirt. They’re everywhere.
  • Fairy: Clip some wings to the collar.

Banfield Pet Hospital. “A Guide to Halloween Safety for Your Dog or Cat.”  Banfield.com. Last modified October 20, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2018.
Banfield Pet Hospital. “Halloween Costume Safety Tips for Your Dog.”  Banfield.com. Accessed July 30, 2018.