Although Halloween can be a night full of fun for us, it can be a scary time of the year for our pets. Loud noises, unexpected knocks at the door and people dressed up in costumes can be both confusing and frightening for them.


More than one-third of dogs in the UK show avoidance behaviour (such as cowering, trembling, and whining) in response to loud noises. Planning for potential 'spooks' on Halloween can help you make your pet feel as comfortable as possible.


▶ Where possible, walk your dogs during daylight hours. This means you should avoid encountering the influx of trick-or-treaters. 

▶ Loud noises and knocks at the door are inevitable. Think of ways to keep your dog busy and distract them – like a new toy or long-lasting treat. 

▶ Ensure your pet is kept in a safe environment, preferably away from the entrance to prevent them slipping out when you open the door to trick-or-treaters. Make sure they are microchipped just in case they do manage to escape.

▶ If you know your dog will not cope well at all, you could put a sign outside advising people not to knock and to instead take a sweet from the bowl you have left beside the door.

▶ Ensure your pet has a ‘safe space’ that they can get to at any time. Fill it with their favourite things to help them feel more comfortable. 

▶ At nightfall, close windows and curtains and play calming music in order to muffle the sound of any loud noises outside.

▶ We advise owners against dressing up their pets in outfits or costumes. Although they may look cute to you, this can cause them stress. It also restricts them from showing their natural behaviour and feelings. 

▶ Keep chocolate and sweets out of reach of sneaky paws! Consuming these could make your pet very poorly. Click here for further advice regarding food.

▶ Be patient with your pooch. Reward them for good behaviour and be calm – telling them off can escalate their fear.