Forget Goblins! What's Your Pet Gobbling?!

October 27, 2017

Doorbells, shouting, and scary masks make Halloween a frightening night for our dogs and cats. Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) in Encinitas is reminding pet owners to keep their best friends (and the trick-or-treaters) safe. 

"Halloween can be terrifying," according to RCHS spokes-ghost John Van Zante. "The bell rings, we run to open the door, people in costumes shout 'Trick or Treat,' they take things from us, then run away. We close the door and wait anxiously for the next group. For a pet who thinks its job is to protect its house and family, that's very confusing!" 

Van Zante says pet owners should take precautions on Halloween night.

  • Just because your pet enjoys people coming to the door...the children might not want to be greeted by an animal. Find a safe place for your pet to escape the noise.  
  • Frightened pets are more likely to “door dash." Outside they'll just see more trick-or-treaters. If that happens, they'll either keep running or hide. You DO NOT want to spend Halloween night searching for your pet.
  • What about pet costumes? Make sure they're safe, fit properly, and do not restrict the pet's vision. If you're taking your pet outdoors, the costume should be reflective. 
  • DO NOT force your pet to wear a costume.
  • Leave your dogs at home. If you insist on taking them trick or treating, make sure Mom or Dad holds the leash and that "Count Barkula" stays back from the door. Even if YOUR dog is okay, the dog inside might feel the need to protect its home. 
  • No Candy. No Booze. And remember that pets eat candy....wrappers and all. When you get home and start eating the candy...dispose of the wrappers safely. 
  • Black cats? Halloween isn't any more dangerous for black cats than any other night. But it's still hard to see black cats in the dark. Keep them safe inside. 

Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas offers Humane Education programs for children to learn about safe pet care and adoption services for dogs, cats, and rabbits. For more information visit RCHS, call 760-753-6413, or log on to