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With costumes and masks, scary decorations, and a constant stream of trick-or-treaters at the door,
Halloween can be downright spooky for pets.
To ensure that both you and your pets have a happy and safe Halloween, Santa Barbara Humane offers
these simple tips:

● Keep your stash of Halloween candy out of reach of your pet. While candy may be a delicious
treat for humans, chocolate, gum, raisins, and the sugar substitute xylitol can all cause serious
problems for your pet.
● Though Halloween decorations can add to the spooky atmosphere, they can also be hazardous to
your pets. Jack-o-lanterns can quickly become a fire hazard if a curious cat or dog knocks them
over, and decor like fake cobwebs and plastic spiders can be choking hazards. Make sure these
items are placed somewhere your pet can’t reach.
● Remember that not all animals enjoy wearing costumes. Dressing up an unwilling pet may
cause undue stress. If your pet does like being dressed up, make sure that their costume fits
well and isn’t cutting off circulation or preventing them from breathing or moving.
● Trick-or-treaters coming to the door, knocking, and ringing the doorbell can scare animals. If you
have a pet that gets particularly scared or worked up when they hear a doorbell, it might be wise
to make plans for distributing candy that doesn’t involve people coming to your door.
● Your cat or dog may be frightened by people in Halloween costumes, especially costumes that
partially or entirely obscure faces. They may have trouble recognizing people, even people they
know well, when they are in costume. This means it’s extra important to keep an eye on them
when trick-or-treaters come to to the door.
● If you know trick-or-treaters will frequent your house, consider creating a safe space for your pet.
Keep your animal closed in a comfortable room so they cannot slip out while you are handing out
● A collar with an ID tag and/or a microchip helps ensure your pets’ safe return if they do get
out. Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, and double-check that your pet’s
microchip information is up to date by visiting If you are
unsure if your cat or dog has a microchip, your veterinarian can scan them for a chip to

Santa Barbara Humane is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has been serving our community for more than
135 years. Santa Barbara Humane operates two campuses located in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria,
providing care for community-owned and homeless animals. Both campuses offer affordable, high-quality
veterinary care, compassionate behavior training programs, and a relinquishment program for owners
who can no longer care for their pets. Homeless animals receive medical care, shelter, and basic behavior
training until their adoption. Because we are a local organization that is not affiliated with or funded by
The Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA, Santa Barbara Humane relies on local donor
support to ensure every dog and cat gets the care they need.


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