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Published on Friday, October 23, 2020

Keep Pets Safe This Howl-O-Ween

ACS offers pet safety tips during trick-or-treating season

Halloween is fast approaching and ongoing COVID related cautions will likely change some traditional activities like door to door trick-or-treating. Despite this “new normal,” Halloween is still considered a family-oriented holiday and many people like to include their pets in the festivities. Animal Care Services offers these tips to keep your entire family safe--whether they have two legs or four! 


  • Hosting or attending drive thru trick-or-treating? Leave your pet at home. Don’t risk a bite from a scared pet or their getting hit by one of the passing cars. 
  • Talk to your kids about the danger of giving your pet Halloween treats. 
  • Chocolate of any type, even a nibble, can be toxic and potentially fatal to dogs and cats. Keep holiday goodies like candies and cookies away from your pets.
  • Cellophane and foil wrappers, lollipop and caramel apple sticks should be thrown away immediately. They pose a choking hazard to pets if swallowed. 
  • If you opt to hand out candy this year at the door or in the yard, provide a quiet, safe place for your pet to relax inside. This tip is helpful if you’re having a Halloween party too. 
  • Masks and costumes could be threatening to your family pet. Fear may lead to protective or aggressive behavior like biting and growling. Keep this in mind while the kids (or you) are trying on your holiday disguises.
  • Keep your pet safe inside for the evening if you’re worried trick or treaters may scare or bother your outdoor pet. 
  • Halloween decorations, like jack-o-lantern candles and electric strings of lights can spark curiosity in pets. Keep them out of reach.
  • Not all pets will tolerate wearing a costume or embellished collar. 
  • Get your pet in on the Halloween fun by providing a holiday themed treat for them to enjoy. This can be a great family activity as well with plenty of easy treat recipes available online. 
  • Outdoor pets often become the target of seemingly harmless pranks on Halloween. Suspected animal cruelty should call 311 or the SAPD non-emergency line at 210-207-SAPD to report possible violations. 
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