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Pet owners on alert for Halloween and Guy Fawkes

Published: 24 October 2018

It’s that time of the year when dog owners look to take extra care of their pets as we approach Halloween and Guy Fawkes.

Even with a ban in place, the days surrounding fireworks night are the busiest of the year for the council’s animal management officers out in the field, picking up roaming pets.

Many dogs’ natural reaction to the loud bangs and bright flashes of light is to run or hide for safety.

Here are some important tips for owners:

  • Keep windows and doors closed to minimise the noise and light flashes
  • Close the curtains
  • Turn on soothing music or the TV to distract your dog
  • Walk your dog well before fireworks are likely to start or have a play session to tire your dog out
  • Pop your dog out to the toilet before fireworks are likely to start
  • If your dog wants to hide inside, let them, this is where your dog feels safe
  • Ensure your dog registration is current and your dog is microchipped as this will assist in your dog being reunited with you as quickly as possible if it strays.


With increased numbers of people out and about for trick or treating, it’s important to consider your dog’s safety to avoid any unwanted scares on Halloween.

Here are some important tips for owners:

  • Make sure any sweet treats are kept out of reach of pets. Chocolate, particularly baking chocolate and dark chocolate, can be toxic. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian immediately.
  • Wearing a spooky costume may cause stress to pets. And if you decide to dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, sight or ability to breathe. Check the costume fits and don’t wait until Halloween to find out if your dog is relaxed in a costume.
  • Strangers coming to the door or people in fancy dress could also frighten dogs. Watch out for dogs running out of doorways and driveways, and always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. 

If you lose your pet, call Animal Management at 0800 462 685 and try posting on local community Facebook pages and community sites such as Neighbourly or Pets on the Net.

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