The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control would like to remind all pet owners to keep your pets in a safe and secure place while enjoying the festivities.

“Our pet community can be frightened by the activities of this holiday, and that is perfectly understandable,” said Marcia Mayeda, the Department’s Director. “Pets react to the decorations and some of the festivities can be hazardous, which may trigger the fight or flight instinct. The fight instinct could cause a friendly pet to bite out of fear and the flight instinct would cause them to run from the noise and excitement,” Mayeda said. This holiday can send dogs fleeing onto busy streets and freeways or running scared far from home. Cats feel the same anxiety, but generally find a dark place to hide at home until the festivities subside.

To ensure the safety of your pets, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your pet’s license is current and be sure the tags are securely affixed to your pet’s collar.
  • Microchip your pet.
  • If possible, keep your pets indoors away from the front door in a secure, comfortable place with some “white noise” distraction such as a radio or television.
  • Make sure your property is secured, including backyard fences, gates, or any other openings where a pet might fit through if they accidentally escape.
  • Keep pets away from all candy. Chocolate, which contains theobromine, can be poisonous to pets, causing nerve damage and even death.
  • Properly dispose of all candy wrappers. Tinfoil and cellophane candy wrappers are tempting treats for pets and can cause pets to choke or to have intestinal blocks.
  • Keep pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns away from pets. Pets can easily knock them over, which could result in a burn.
  • Halloween pet costumes can pose safety hazards for pets. Do not dress your pet up unless he or she is used to it. Make sure the costume does not restrict their movement, vision, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark. Pet costumes should not have small or dangling accessories that can be swallowed by your pet.
  • If you choose to take your pet to a community event, please monitor their safety at all times.


Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!