Agency urges owners to keep pets safe at Halloween

The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS), a non-profit animal welfare and education organization, is encouraging families to ensure their pets are safe this Halloween.

“Many pets get sick or go missing during holidays like Halloween,” said Denise Deisler, JHS executive director.  “It is important that families keep their pets in a comfortable, safe place, especially during parties and trick-or-treating.”

JHS offers the following tips to keep your pet safe on Halloween:

  1. Keep pets inside in a quiet place during trick-or-treating.  Make sure your dog or cat is secure in a part of the house where he or she can not escape.  Pet can easily become startled by people in costumes and run away when families open the door to greet trick-or-treaters.  Remember to also leave your pet at home if you go out trick-or-treating.
  2. Ensure your pet is microchipped and information on your pet’s tag is current.  Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification including a collar, tags and a microchip.  Ensure the information on the tag and the details registered with the microchip company include your current address and phone number in case your pet should go missing. 
  3. Don’t feed your pet chocolate or other candy.  Chocolate and candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can poison pets.  If your animal ingests chocolate or another toxin, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  4. Keep your pet away from electrical wires and cords.  Many Halloween decorations are electronic and can cause harm to pets that chew on electrified wires and cords.  Pets can suffer cuts, burns or electrical shock.
  5. Make sure your pet’s costume is safe.  Ensure your pet’s costume doesn’t have small or dangling objects your pet could chew off and choke on. The costume should not constrict a dog or cat’s breathing, movement, hearing or ability to bark or meow.

If your pet ingests something foreign or toxic, contact your veterinarian immediately.  Should your dog or cat go missing, file a report with the City of Jacksonville’s Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) by calling 904.630.CITY and visit our Web site at for more lost-pet resources.  If you find a dog or cat, talk to neighbors to try to find the owners of the animal.  If you can’t find the pet’s owners, you should take the pet to ACPS

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