Keep pets safe for Halloween

By Gina Yarbrough 

Encinitas, CA–Rancho Coastal Humane Society is offering tips to keep pets safe during Halloween.

Pet owners should take precautions when trick or treaters ring the doorbell. It is common for dogs to run to the door and to bark. When the door opens, the pet may get frightened at the sight of costumed visitors. Pets are more likely to “door dash,” and once they’re outside they’ll see more trick-or-treaters. They’ll either keep running until they’re lost, or they’ll hide. 

“Halloween can be very scary for pets,” according to Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante. “The bell rings, we run to open the door, people in costumes shout ‘Trick or Treat,’ they take our things from us, then run away. We close the door and wait for the next group. For pets who think it’s their job is to protect the house and family, that’s very confusing.”

Even if your pet enjoys people coming to the door, the trick or treaters might not want to be greeted by an animal. Pet owners should find a safe place for their pet to escape the noise and the commotion.

People are not the only ones who enjoy wearing Halloween costumes. Pet owners also place costumes on their furry friends. Costumes made for pets most be safe to wear, and fit properly to avoid restricting their vision. If taking pets outdoors, the costume and leash should be reflective. Do not force pets to wear a costume it does not want.

Most people like to bring their pets along for trick or treating. The Rancho Coastal Humane Society advises pet owners to always hold the leash and stay back from the door. Even if their dog is okay, the pet inside might feel the need to protect its home.

Pets will eat candy and the wrapper. Pet owners should dispose of the candy and the wrapper in the trash can.

Halloween isn’t any more dangerous for black cats than any other night. But it’s still hard to see black cats in the dark. Don’t take chances. Keep them safe inside the home.

Rancho Coastal Humane Society offers programs to assist people and their pets, including adoption services for dogs, cats, and rabbits. 

For more information visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas or visit

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