Trick or treat? Do you pass out candy if you're on a sit?

I’ve applied for a sit that would take place over Halloween, and the house is on a street that is likely to have foot traffic for Halloween.

I’m wondering if anyone else is sitting over Halloween, and if they are planning on handing out candy? Do you think you would buy it yourself, or would you think the homeowners should set you up with candy to pass out?


great question @MissChef! I would first ask the HO what they normally do…if they say they don’t normally give out candy but would be fine if you did - then I think that would be their way of saying buy the candy yourself.

As a sitter I would just buy the candy myself anyhow because I love seeing cute kids, heck anyone in costume and I just generally love the holiday.

The HO might ask that you not give out candy. It could be for a couple of reasons. Maybe the HO has a HOA and houses that sign up ahead of time that are “vetted as safe” are the only ones that give out candy. If you give out candy in then some in a HOA could be upset because they wouldn’t know if it would be safe for their families. This is all an extreme situation - first talk to the owners and they might already have the candy for you. You never know until you ask


This is such an American tradition and but it’s been growing in popularity too in the UK and a little in Europe, but nothing like with the effort that goes into this in the US! When I was growing up in the UK trick or treat was often more sinister sadly with eggs thrown at doors on occasion if you didn’t provide a treat :blush: That has thankfully changed (I hope)!!

A few years back we arrived at a sit in the UK, with a hurried handover and settled down to make friends with our cat, when there was a knock on the door! We could hear kids and realized it was of course Halloween but with our travel and handover we’d totally forgotten! We hadn’t a single thing we could give them and realized being in a city it was going to be a long night! A night of all the lights off, early to bed with the cat curled at our feet, reading in dimmed lights, pretending no-one home :rofl:

Normally I make sure we’ve got a big tin of Quality Street or equivalent (small wrapped chocolates) to hand out which we do buy ourselves. I’m guessing in the US homeowners might have this as a consideration… will be interesting to hear.


@MissChef I would hate the thought of not getting to hand out candy for Halloween. I am interested in what @Kelly-Moderator said regarding HOA vetting as we have never had that listed in our HOA rules/regulations. Only asking if we were giving so they could create a map of those who want to participate…even if you didn’t let them know I never saw it to be an issue.

The only thing I would be concerned about would be asking the homeowner if okay due to the nature of pets of course being in the home. Do they bark when the doorbell rings, do they charge at the door, etc? This could cause an issue with stress of the pet and concern by the pet parent as to the outcome.

I am interested in hearings others thoughts as well!


Nope. Stopped participating in this activity a few years ago. Lights out.

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Great question! We will be sitting in Nashville TN for Halloween and will be asking our HOs if they have any community traditions for Halloween that we could participate in. I am hoping they have some type of community event, trunk or treat, block party, etc. My only hesitation for doing “trick or treat” from the home would be opening their door multiple times and having the kitty run out. If the weather is nice, we could stay out on the porch or set up chairs in the front yard to avoid this risk. We would only do any of this with the consent of our hosts, of course. I love Halloween!


Absolutely LOVE Halloween. :skull: :imp: :ghost: :scream:

If we were on a sit which coincided with Halloween, we would discuss with the HOs to confirm what they have done in the past. If they don’t typically participate in trick or treating, we would ask if they would mind if we did.

We would be more than happy to buy the candy to give out.

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I too love Halloween! But do ask the homeowner, as there may be other considerations. Years ago the high school soccer team our son was on played a tournament game leading up to the state championship on Halloween in the stadium of a small college a few hours from our home in a rural part of the state. We drove up on the backroads (the only way to get there), and, as we drove through the town next to the college, we noticed that there were no decorations up (in shops or homes) and all the lights were off. It was really kind of spooky in its own way. We were later told that the majority of the people in that town follow a religion that doesn’t believe in celebrating holidays. I’d never heard of such a thing, but there you are. I learn something new every day.

(BTW, we won that game, so it was worth missing Halloween, and a few weeks later won state!)

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@Amparo us too, not interested at all! Didn’t grow up with it, and the countries where we lived didn’t really participate much, so we have very little exposure and we hate doorbells ringing! So we’re staying low as well if we need to.


In a word - No!

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No. Halloween is not a big thing in Australia.

I don’t celebrate Halloween but if I did, and wanted to hand out candy, I would not expect the home owners to pay for it.

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No I’m afraid … lights out and there’s no one home.

When we lived in Canada and my children were small they did Trick or Treat, but that was then and this is now … What’s the Halloween equivalent of “Bah Humbug?” :rofl:

I wouldn’t, just because I’d worry that the pets would try to storm the little trick or treaters, or just get out of the house in general.

We’ve had pets on both ends of the spectrum. Some loved kids (but at 85 lbs were a bit too large to be so playful with the little ones) and others that were too shy to have people come to the door.

I would ask the home owners what they want us to do and follow their request. I stopped doing Halloween once all my kids grew up and haven’t looked back so if they want us to hand out candy, I’d probably expect them to provide it.

ETA: It depends a bit on how many kids they normally get though. We get about 100 in my neighbourhood and some places can get 400+ kids. Other places get 10.

400+ kids @Kelownagurl :scream: :rofl: OMG! I would definitely be lights off and in-hiding with the pets!! Is Halloween as popular then in Canada as it is in the US? I honestly doubt I’ll even see a pumpkin where we live in France!!

I think @Harris2 that’s a very good point about having visitors to the door when looking after pets especially if there is such a continual stream of visitors. Definitely a good question to ask the homeowners.

Yes, it’s definitely been a big deal since I was a kid (in the 60’s). My own kids trick-or-treated until they were 16-17.

I don’t mind Halloween really but the layout of my house means we have to run downstairs every time the doorbell rings and often we also block off the top to the stairs so my dog doesn’t tear down there as well. That means climbing the gate and running downstairs. So I’ve given up.

Now I buy some candy, make up little treat bags for the neighbour kids that I know, and drop them off the day before so they don’t miss out from us.

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Definitely not.
In Scotland it was called guising. We got dressed up, some very elaborately, then went from door to door. Each of us had a little “performance “ rehearsed. We were invited in then had to entertain the householders with our poems, songs, instrument playing, even jokes. If they liked us we got sweets or money. If they didn’t we went away empty handed. At least we didn’t just knock o; the door and threaten the poor householder!

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I’m going to have to post pics of our home and our best friends home for Halloween as we both do it up “big” and the more kids the better. I absolutely love hearing the giggles and seeing the smiles on their faces as they shout out “trick or treat” so they can get candy put in their bags.

No, this is not a tradition in many countries but I am afraid it is a dying tradition in the States…I can understand why in many cases, but still it makes me sad.