Halloween poses special risks for pets because some decorations, costumes or festivities may trigger the fight or flight instinct, a county animal expert said.
Those instincts may cause otherwise friendly dogs to bite out of fear or run away and they may end up on busy streets or freeways.
“Some dogs take Halloween in stride, but others act out,” county animal services director Dan DeSousa. “Do Fido a favor and keep him behind a closed door or a crate away from the front door.”
Cats can also be frightened by Halloween festivities, though they are more likely to find a dark place to hide in the home.
Here are some tips to keep pets safe:
- Secure your dog away from the door.
- Distract your dog with a favorite toy.
- Turn on the TV or play music in the dog’s room to mask sounds of activity at the front door.
- Close the drapes so the dog doesn’t see people walking by the front windows.
- If your dog barks at the doorbell, disconnect it or watch for trick-or-treaters so they won’t ring the bell or knock at the door.
- Keep all pets indoors (cats, too) so they don’t get spooked and run away.
- Make sure all your pets are microchipped and dogs are registered with Finding Rover in case they do escape out the front door.
And while trick-or-treating, children should avoid going up to dogs, even if they know the dog because the dog might not recognize them in costumes.
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