Is Halloween Worth Celebrating for Dogs? Pet-Friendly Overview

Is Halloween Worth Celebrating for Dogs? Pet-Friendly Overview
Photo by Paige Cody / Unsplash

Halloween is one of the most exciting time of the year for most people, including dog owners, who can barely wait to costume their furry friends.

On the 31st of October and around this date you'll see humans in costumes, pets in costumes, Halloween decorations around the houses and on the street, children ringing the doorbells for trick-or-treating, and the smell of pumpkin everywhere.

What do dogs, however, think about this? Do they understand this celebration, are they happy to be there with their owners, or is it just a stressful circumstance that frightens them?

A dog has a lot to process here. For people, this time of year is unique and enjoyable because of the eerie atmosphere. Halloween and the costumes, however, aren't necessarily welcoming, thrilling, or safe for our pets.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your dogs relax throughout the celebration, some simple measures to keep your pets safe and secure.

🎃 Do dogs love Halloween? ðŸ‘ŧ

Frankly speaking, a dog won't realize the proper meaning of Halloween. Every dog is unique, and although some may enjoy Halloween simply because they get to spend the day with their owners participating in funny activities, others may feel terrified and anxious.

If you want to know if your dog actually enjoys Halloween, you need to look out for several warning signals of stress, fear, and anxiety.

How to read the signs that your dog doesn't like Halloween

scared dog of halloween

There is no need to make our pets fearful, even though the spooky aspects of the occasion may be entertaining for humans. You should watch out for any possible signs of fear in your dog's body, such as:

  • Yawning
  • Pacing
  • Agitation
  • Licking the lips
  • Panting
  • Unusual vocalizations: barking, whining, etc.
  • Tucking the tail
  • Withdrawal
  • Pulling back its ears
  • Shaking & trembling
  • Refusing the treats
  • Moving slowly
  • Destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, or scratching
  • Hypervigilance
In panic situations, your dog may try to escape. In this situation, it is advised that you check that your dog is microchipped, wearing an ID tag and that the contact information is accurate.

How do you know your dog enjoys Halloween:

  • Happy expression
  • Tail Up and & Wiggling
  • Happy Barks
  • Floppy ears

Here the signs are easier to read, and if your dog enjoys it, it's great!

Can dogs be scared of Halloween decorations? YES. Your dog may become frightened by spooky decorations, fireworks, and scary costumes.

However, there are a few things you can do, to keep your dog calm during Halloween:

ðŸĶŪ Keep your dog on the leash. In this way, you can prevent your dog to escape and run away if it gets scared. Do this especially if you're trying trick-or-treat, away from the doorbell.

ðŸĄ Create a controlled setting for your dog to enjoy. If your dog is eager and it seems at ease, you can ask him/she to sit while the visitor rewards him with a treat. Exposures need to be managed, so they could be enjoyable and not forced.

🙅‍♀ïļ Don't let your dog receive human treats from your neighbors. Animals shouldn't be allowed to consume human sweets.

🛋 For comfort and safety, keep your scared dog (if he is) in a different room, eventually a safe heaven. Dogs may bite more frequently when they feel threatened, terrified, or territorial.

ðŸū When outdoors, stay on sidewalks and paths. Even at night, sidewalks are safer than the road, but they also keep your dog away from Halloween decorations and your neighbors' gardens.

ðŸĶī Reward your dog with pet-friendly TREATS.

Do dogs like Halloween costumes?

Jack Russell Terrier in a LadyBug Halloween Costume
Jack Russell Terrier in a LadyBug Halloween Costume

Millions of people dress up their dogs and other pets for Halloween every year. But when dressing up their dog, pet owners should take caution.

Some dogs might enjoy being dressed up in costumes and paraded about, but not all. Reduce unnecessary stress by not dressing your pet until you are certain that he/she will be excited by the concept. Some dogs are wary of being petted, and they could also be delicate about clothing.

Do dogs hate costumes? Yes, some dogs dislike having certain materials on them, and if you don't realize it, it can be causing your dog stress.

dog hates halloween costume

Pet costumes can be fun and cute for people, but they can present a danger to pets. If you want to dress up your dog for Halloween and you know it is okay with it, keep these tips in mind:

✅ Choose a safe costume by looking for a Velcro one, without buttons, drawstrings, or elastic. Dogs can easily chew and swallow hanging components, thus there shouldn't be any. Make sure your pet can move around freely and breathe easily while wearing its costume.

âģ Give your dog time to get used to it and to be comfortable with its costume by wearing it occasionally around Halloween time.

👀 Keep an eye on your pet when it's dressed up, because if the costume of your pet has parts that can be easily swallowed by curiosity or obstruct its breathing and movement.

If you're wondering if dressing up your dog is cruel, the answer might be yes, if you do this solely for enjoyment and ignore any indication that your dog doesn't like being dressed up. I believe that every dog owner has a responsibility to ensure the happiness of their pet. If doing the contrary, then it is cruel.

Should I dress my dog up for Halloween? Yes, if you and your dog agree with this concept. Test your dog to see if he or she is comfortable wearing a costume before purchasing one. Try on any scarf or t-shirt on your dog. It is best to just enjoy Halloween without a costume if your dog exhibits tension or dislike.

What percentage of people dress up their pets for Halloween?

almost 22% of people dress their dogs for Halloween - infographic

According to, 21,7% of US people dressed up their pets for Halloween, while 48,52% didn't. Taking into consideration the people outside the US and this current year, the numbering may differ a bit.

Dogs and Halloween Treats

"Can dogs eat Halloween treats?" is a common question for the Halloween season. Every dog owner should know that dogs must stay away from treats that contain sugar or xylitol. However, dog-friendly treats are free to be consumed. There are many on the market and also a lot of DIY Halloween treat recipes that your dog would love.

...SO, Is Halloween Worth Celebrating for Dogs?

The answer to this question depends on your choice. As you already know and we clarified in the beginning, dogs do not know about Halloween. They can really detest it by being terrified, stressed out, and concerned by eerie decorations, costumes, "boo" noises, fireworks, and all the noises around, but they can also enjoy it by being with their owner, eating goodies, and taking part in a variety of fun activities.

Here are some ideas of what to do for Halloween season with a dog, whether you celebrate it or not:

Not Celebrating Halloween Celebrating Halloween
Netflix & Chill Watching Halloween Movies
Puppucino date Pumpkin spice latte date (dog-friendly, ofc)
Walkings in Park Walkings in Pet-friendly Costume
Meet with other dog buddies Treat-or-Treating
Mountain activities Participate at local Halloween activities
Cooking healthy goodies Baking pumpkin

🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃


Halloween is most enjoyed by people, but you must be aware as a pet owner that this celebration may affect your furry friend.

While some dogs are ok with all that implies Halloween (decorations, costumes, spooky noises, etc.), others are scared and anxious about it.

Therefore, if you're thinking about taking part in this holiday event, keep an eye out to see if your friend is having fun dressing up.

Related Article:

2022 Safe Halloween Costume Ideas for Dogs [Vet-Approved]

If you're looking for some excellent and safe Halloween costume suggestions for your beloved dog, we covered some pretty options. Follow this article for in-depth Halloween costume tips!

Go to the article