Make sure Halloween is pleasant for pets

Mary A. Castillo

Costumes, candy and eerie jack-o-lanterns make Halloween night one

of the most eagerly anticipated celebrations of the year. But it’s a

potentially hazardous one for pets.


“Although Halloween has been quiet here in the past, this is just

a prevention measure,” Animal Shelter Director Nancy Goodwin said.

One of the biggest culprits for a trip to the vet is candy.

Chocolate can be downright poisonous for dogs and cellophane or tin


foil wrappings can cause choking, Goodwin said.

Even if owners keep candy and party beverages out of reach, pets

might be confused or even frightened when the miniature Bride of

Frankenstein appears at the front door.

“Owners should keep a pet in a room or have them spend the night

at a kennel,” Goodwin advised. Pets should also be wearing collars

with ID tags just in case they make the great escape.

But Goodwin acknowledged that not all pets are scaredy cats.


“Certain breeds like pugs and basset hounds could care less,” she

said. In fact, they might feel neglected if they’re not joining the

fun in a costume of their own.

Humane Society

Halloween safety tips

* Don’t leave your pet out in the yard. There are plenty of

incidents of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured and even

killed pets on this night. Black cats are especially targeted for


pranks or harm.

* Trick-or-Treat candies are not for pets.

* Be watchful of pets around lighted pumpkins: they can knock

them over and cause a fire or get burned.

* Don’t dress a pet in a costume unless you know they love it. If

you do, make sure the costume doesn’t constrict or obstruct the

animal’s vision.

* All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room

during trick-or-treat visiting hours.

* Be careful your dog or cat doesn’t dart out through an open

door and make sure they’re wearing collars with ID tags.

For more information, getting an ID tag for your pet or if you

have lost a pet in the cities of Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods please

call (949) 497-3552.