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Tips to keep pets safe and secure on Halloween

October 31, 2010 (San Diego) -- Halloween is a fun and spooky time for “ghouls” and boys, but County animal officials want you to know that the event can be scary for your pets.


Your pet is not used to costumed characters approaching the door and yelling “trick or treat!” Your cat may become spooked and run, not to be seen for several days. Your dog, the guardian of the household, may lunge or bite the costumed creatures. This is never what is intended to happen during Halloween, but it is a reality faced every year.


To protect against this, the Department of Animal Services is encouraging residents to keep identification on all their pets and safely secure them indoors and away from areas adjacent to doorways accessible to visiting "trick or treaters" or other strangers. Be sure to keep your cat inside and away from pranksters.


Owners should also safely store candy and other Halloween treats away from their pets since ingestion of even small amounts can result in serious harm or death. Chocolate is toxic for dogs, for example.


Pets can also become injured, frightened or entangled by household decorations or costumes – especially if the pet is dressed in one.


For additional information, visit the Department of Animal Services web site at

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