October 14, 2015

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is a treat for people, but can be a frightening trick for our pets. Regional Animal Services of King County reminds pet owners of a few safety tips before the ghosts and goblins arrive.

Never feed candy to your pet, especially chocolate. If you suspect your dog or cat has gotten into Halloween treats, contact your veterinarian right away.

Costumes can be scary to some pets. If your pet is easily spooked by strangers or loud noises, consider keeping them safe in a pet crate or confined to a quiet room while trick-or-treaters are out.

While some pets like to play dress-up on Halloween, others don’t. Choose a costume carefully, and be alert to signs of distress like excessive panting or drooling. Be sure your pet’s costume allows them to see and move freely. You may want to do a test run with your pet before the big night to make sure they can tolerate being “clothed.”

If your pet is kept outdoors, consider bringing them inside on Halloween, or securing them in a garage, shed, or barn. Pets have sometimes been the victims of cruel “pranks” on Halloween night.

Some Halloween decorations can be harmful to pets. Keep a close eye on known “chewers,” and don’t let them chew on plastic or electrical cords.

Be sure your dog or cat is wearing a collar with a license and ID tag securely attached. Pets can easily escape through doors opened for trick-or-treaters or party guests. You may also consider microchipping your pet. Check with your veterinarian about this service.

If your pet does escape, check with local animal shelters and rescue groups in person to see if your pet has been picked up. Residents in the RASKC service area can also visit our I Lost my pet page to file a lost pet report. Pet owners can also call 206-296-PETS (7387), and enter 311 to hear a list of stray dogs, or 312 for a listing of stray cats.