Halloween Pet Safety Tips

City of Great Falls Montana


DATE:  October 25, 2013
CONTACT: Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager 455-8417


GREAT FALLS, Montana – Halloween is creeping up on us once again! While it can be an exciting time for children and adults, the Great Falls Animal Shelter would like to remind pet owners that this haunting holiday can often be downright scary for pets. However, there are lots of things pet owners can do to eliminate the stress and dangers of the holiday for pets.

Here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind to ensure you and your pet have a safe and happy Halloween this year.

  • Proper ID. Make sure that pets are wearing tags with a current ID. Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters creates plenty of escape opportunities.
  • Leave your pet at home. When out trick or treating leave your pet at home or in a secure environment.
  • Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate and other ingredients can be toxic to pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  • Keep pets indoors (even outdoor pets). Keeping pets away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities is important, masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening. Pets left outdoors on Halloween can also be subject to tricksters/pranksters, so it’s best to bring pets in for the night.
  • Try on costumes before Halloween. If you choose a costume for your pet, forgo masks and make sure costumes are comfortable and do not pose a risk for injury.
  • Keep pets away from Halloween décor. Halloween décor can be dangerous, so keep it safely away from pets. Hanging or dangling decorations can be an entanglement or choking hazard. Keep pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets. Although pumpkin is generally safe, eating too much of it can cause upset stomachs according to the ASPCA.  Candle flames can set fire to fur and cause fires.
  • Have a safe haven for your pet. Consider keeping your dog or cat in a room away from the front door once the trick-or- treating begins. Your normally calm pet may become territorial and anxious once the doorbell begins ringing and the door opens and closes for strangers (dressed in costumes) who ask for candy.  Your pet may jump, growl, bark and demonstrate other aggressive behavior. Keeping your pet in a safe area of the house, away from the activity, helps keep them calm, stress free and may prevent them from darting outside.

For more Halloween pet safety tips please contact the staff at the Great Falls Animal Shelter at 454-2276. Have a safe and happy Halloween.