Taking the fright out of Halloween for your pets


A small dog, with an even smaller pumpkin. Photo Courtesy of Tracy Mohr

Although Halloween can be fun for humans, it isn’t for pets. The Chico Animal Shelter wants pet owners to know that what’s fun for them is scary, and possibly dangerous, for their pets.

Chico Animal Shelter Manager, Tracy Mohr, has some tips to keep animals safe this Halloween.

“Halloween is for people, not for pets,” Mohr said.

“We advise pet owners to take a few simple precautions to keep your pets safe and secure this Halloween so the holiday is enjoyable for all members of your family,” she said.

Mohr laid out a list of tips for people to follow to keep their pets safe and happy:

  • Make sure to keep Halloween candies and treats away from pets. Treats like chocolate, and candy sweetened with xylitol, is toxic to dogs.
  • If there’s Halloween decorations around the house make sure that wires and cords are out of reach to your pet. This precaution that can prevent burns, cuts and even electrical shock. It’s better not to have any candles and open flames, Mohr says. An excited or scared pet can knock it over leading to a fire.
  • If you’re dressing up a pet in a costume, make sure they enjoy dressing up and that they aren’t uncomfortable. Pay close attention that the costume does not restrict your pet’s movements, breathing, sight or hearing in any way. Make sure that there aren’t any small or easily chewed-off pieces that a pet could choke on. Check them constantly, and don’t leave a pet unattended in a costume.
  • Pets may become unexpectedly fearful or aggressive because of activity. The constant ringing of doorbells and people at the door can be enough to upset a normally calm pet. If the pet is distressed, put them in a quiet, safe place away from all activity.
  • During Halloween festivities, it’s best to keep pets indoors to prevent them from being scared off by others, Mohr said. Indoor pets should be kept away from the door to avoid them possibly running out and getting lost.
  • Aside from the festivities, a pet should always wear a properly fitting collar with identification tags.

With these tips, Halloween can still be fun and safe for all.

Yaritza Ayon can be reached at [email protected] or @ayon_yaritza on Twitter.