Safety Tips for Pet Owners on Halloween Night

With Halloween around the corner and trick-or-treaters on the hunt for candy, pet owners can take a few precautions to keep their pets safe.

Some pets may be afraid of spooky, eerie noises and be protective when people ring the doorbell or come in for a treat, so it’s best to keep them away from the front of the house.

"In either case, some dogs get so stressed out, they act out," said County Animal Services Director Dan DeSousa. "Do Fido a favor and keep him behind a closed door or a crate away from the front door."

Also, if you decide to buy a costume for their dogs, make sure it isn’t too restrictive or bothersome, according to Tracy DeFore County of San Diego Communications specialist.

A few pet owner tips:

  • Secure your dog away from the door.
  • Distract your dog with a favorite toy.
  • Turn on the TV or play music in the dog’s room to mask sounds of activity at the front door.
  • Close the drapes so the dog doesn’t see people walking by the front windows.
  • If your dog barks at the doorbell, disconnect it or watch for trick-or-treaters so they won’t ring the bell or knock at the door.
  • Keep all pets indoors (cats, too) so they don’t get spooked and run away.
  • Make sure all your pets are microchipped and dogs are registered with Finding Rover in case they do escape out the front door.

But parents and kids out trick-or-treating should also stay away from a pet owner’s dog to prevent agitating them. 

Here are some tips for parents and kids out trick-or-treating:

  • Don’t approach any dog even if you know him. He may not recognize you in costume.
  • Avoid houses with a dog barking behind the door or a fence.
  • If a dog is at the door when the owner opens it, do not approach him. Let the owner come to you with candy.
  • If the dog escapes or you meet a loose dog, stand still and "be a tree." That means fold your hands in front and watch your feet. The dog will probably just sniff you and move away but if the owner is present, wait for him to get the dog before you turn away.
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