Tips on keeping your pets safe on Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for adults and children alike, but it can be a traumatic and even dangerous time for your pets. Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan offers the following tips to keep Halloween from being a fright for pets and trick-or-treaters:

  • Don’t leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween. There are too many stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen or even killed pets on this night.
  • When going out trick-or-treating, leave your pets at home. Pets can be easily excited by the Halloween activity.
  • Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Store treats in a high cabinet secured with a lock or child-safety latch.
  • Watch out for the ‘lethal wagging tails’ or curious kittens near lit pumpkins and other flames. Pets can knock them over and cause a fire or burn injuries to your pet and people.
  • Don’t dress your animals in costumes unless you know they love it. If you do dress them up, be careful not to obstruct their vision as even the sweetest dogs can get snappy when they can’t see what’s going on around them.
  • Keep your dog(s) in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours, as too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog. If you are having an indoor party, keep pets in a room where they won’t be disturbed or frightened by costumes.
  • Make certain your pet is wearing a pet license in case your cat or dog darts out through an open door.

“Remember, your pets rely on you to keep them out of harm’s way,” Jordan said. “By taking the proper precautions, you and your pets can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”

The Seattle Animal Shelter is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. It is located at 2061 15th Ave. W. Call the shelter at 206-386-7387 (PETS) and view animals available for adoption at