Sunday, December 4, 2022

Furry Friends Feature: Halloween Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe, Not Scared

While many people find Halloween spooky fun, many pets often find it just spooky. The Heritage Humane Society shares tips on how to keep your pet feeling safe during the busy holiday. Plus, be sure to plan your pup or kitty’s Halloween look by attending the shelter’s Halloween Pet Costume Sale on Sat., Oct. 22.


A super hero, a princess, a ghost, or more, dressing up is part of the magic central to Halloween. For pets, grown ups and children wearing costumes may frighten them. Even your own altered appearance may rattle them. If your dog or cat seems overwhelmed by Halloween party goers or trick-or-treaters, consider placing them in a room at home where they have their bowls, a litterbox for cats, and comfortable items such as a favorite toy.

If you opt to dress up your pet for Halloween, be sure the costume fits them well – not too tight that can restrict breathing or seeing, and not too loose that can lead to tripping or falling.


Halloween is the second biggest commercial holiday of the year and with that comes lots of decorating. From traditional carved pumpkins to fake spider webs and elaborate inflatables, when decorating, be sure to consider how accessible decorations are to your treasured furry friend. Pumpkins are considered nontoxic, however, a curious cat may accidentally tip over a candlelit pumpkin and could result in a fire or a dog who munches on a pumpkin may have a temporary stomachache. Be sure electrical cords for animated or light-up decorations are secured so investigating pets don’t accidentally chew on them.


The excitement of going through a haul of candy is super fun for little ones (and grown ups who might be sneaking a treat or two, themselves), however, it’s is critical to keep Halloween candy away from pets. Chocolate is toxic for dogs and cats and xylitol in sugar-free candy is also dangerous for them. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. They are a resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A consultation fee may apply.


The sights and sounds of a parade of trick-or-treaters or a Halloween party may tempt your overwhelmed pet to want to flee. In case your dog or cat slips out of the house, be sure they are wearing a collar with an ID tag and are microchipped. This makes for a quicker reunion.


The Heritage Humane Society is hosting a Halloween Pet Costume Sale on Sat., Oct. 22. There will be hundreds of pet costumes to choose from in all different sizes. Plus, there will also be dog coats and sweaters available. For payment, the shelter is asking for either a monetary donation for the costumes or a supply donation from its wish list. They are in great need of canned cat/kitten food and soft dog treats. The sale is 12-4:30 p.m. at The Heritage Humane Society located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185


There’s still time to adopt a kitten or cat, or adopt a puppy or dog to join you this Halloween season. The shelter has many furry friends hoping to find their forever homes.

If adopting isn’t an option at this time, consider sponsoring the adoption fees for other so they can find their permanent home. If interested, email or call the Heritage Humane Society Adoption Team at or 757-221-0150 ext.0. Make an online donation, purchase items from the shelter’s onsite ReTail Store, or join The Heritage Humane Society foster community.

To learn more, visit or call 757-221-0150.

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