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Animal Attraction: Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Animal Attraction:  Halloween Pet Safety Tips

by Stacy Fox

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 5:29 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 10:25 AM

Halloween is the one celebration where no matter how old you are, you have an excuse to eat lots of sugar and dress up in costumes. Although Halloween tricks and treats can be fun for both kids and adults, those strange costumes and spooky sounds can frighten even the most well behaved pet. The Houston SPCA encourages pet parents to take the following precautions to make sure their pet stays safe and healthy this Halloween.

•Identification.   Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag and / or microchipped with current information.  If they escape out an open door and become lost, this info is their ticket home.

•Leave your pet indoors. Avoid taking your pet trick or treating. Even the most well tempered dog may panic and become aggressive if a ghost or goblin jumps out of the bushes. Instead, keep your pet in a quiet room, away from the noise, excitement and strangers in costumes.

•Candy can kill.   Chocolate can be toxic to your pets, especially dogs.  Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in some candy can be poisonous to dogs as well.  Loose candy wrappers made of aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting. Ask kids not to share their candy with pets.

•Decorations.  Keep lit pumpkins and candles out of your pets reach as they pose an obvious fire hazard.  Ribbons, streamers, electrical cords, confetti, and those fake cobwebs can all be dangerous if ingested by a curious pet.

•Pets in Disguise.  As cute as it may be to dress up your pet, costumes can restrict an animal’s ability to bark, breathe, move, see or hear. Be especially careful when using costumes which use rubber bands as they can cut into your pet’s skin and cause injury. Opt for something simple and fun like a Halloween bandana.

Keeping your pet indoors is especially important around Halloween.  Although cats of all colors are at risk of being mistreated, black and white cats and their association with the supernatural may be direct targets of being teased, chased, and abused.

You can report any suspected occurrence of animal cruelty online at or call 713.869.7722 ext. 146, 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.  Our 24-Hour Rescue Ambulance will pick up stray, injured animals just by calling 713.880.HELP (4357).