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Oct 30

Halloween Safety for Pets

Posted on October 30, 2018 at 2:20 PM by Clare Casey

The City's Animal Control Officer offers a number of tips for keeping pets happy and healthy during Halloween festivities. "Costumes, candy, and unfamiliar people knocking on your door can cause stress for your pets," says Ofc. Keenan. "Every year we get calls about animal bites, stray and lost pets, and pets who became ill after eating candy or decorations."

 For a safe Halloween, Ofc. Keenan suggests the following:

  1. Keep pets inside. Pets can feel frightened and threatened by noisy, costumed trick-or-treaters and the commotion of strangers repeatedly knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell. This stress could cause them to bite someone or escape. "Cats, especially black ones, are sometimes the target of pranksters," says Ofc. Keenan. "Keep your pets inside in an area where they feel secure and cannot escape."
  2. Keep pets away from candy and decorations. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Candles in jack-o-lanterns can quickly burn pets or set their fur on fire. "Pets can get tangled in decorations or try to eat them," says Ofc. Keenan. "A trip to the veterinarian in the middle of the night will quickly end your Halloween fun."
  3. Don't take pets trick-or-treating. "As cute and adorable as they may look, most pets dislike costumes," says Ofc. Keenan. "They can become agitated and hard to handle, and with so many little ones running around, why risk your pet biting someone? Keep them happy and leave them at home costume-free!"
Follow these simple tips so that the day after Halloween is not spent looking for your lost pet or reporting an animal bite to the Animal Control Officer. For questions, please contact Ofc. Keenan at 703-248-5172 (TTY 711) or