Howl-o-ween Safety Tips

With the proper preparation and common sense precautions, you and your pet can safely enjoy the spooky season together. Download our printable PDF SF SPCA Halloween Tips with great advice for keeping your pet safe and happy during the Halloween festivities. And read on for additional tips from our very own Dr. Jennifer Scarlett.

“Keep pets inside the house whether you’re out trick-or-treating or at home passing out candy,” advises Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Pets are safest indoors, away from frightening noises and potential hazards. If you’re passing out candy, consider putting your pet in a separate room so they don’t accidentally slip out the door.”

If the constant influx of strangers to the door spooks your pet, keep them in a quiet and comfortable room with a bed or crate, favorite toy, treat, or food puzzle. Some pets can benefit from having the TV or radio on. Calming pheromone products like Adaptil spray and collars work well for dogs and cats. If anxiety is still a problem, talk to your veterinarian or contact the SF SPCA’s Behavior Specialty Clinic.

“This is also a good time to ensure that your pets are microchipped and wearing an identification tag,” said Dr. Scarlett. “Lost animals at a shelter are far more likely to find their way home if they’re microchipped.”

Pet owners are encouraged to register with a universal microchip database such as Take a current picture of your pet as an added precaution.

Additional safety tips:

  • Keep pets far away from fog machines. If you opt to use one, ensure your home has plenty of ventilation, as the fumes can be toxic.
  • Keep your pets away from harmful or toxic foods and items like chocolate, raisins, gum, or candy containing xylitol. Candy wrappers, corn, candles, cords, and glow-stick decorations can also be dangerous. Signs of toxicity include drooling, vomiting, or trouble breathing. Contact your veterinarian right away if you see these signs.
  • Keep your pets from playing with motorized decorations that could cause injury.
  • Use jack-o-lanterns with battery-operated candles and cord covers.


Happy (and Safe!) Halloween from your friends at the San Francisco SPCA

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