Some excellent tips to keep your pets safe and happy on the ‘scariest’ day of the year… 

That parade of kids, adults—and yes, even pets—in funny outfits is almost due to arrive at your door , bringing all the sweet and scary joys of Halloween! But pet parents, as you carve the jack-o-lanterns and fill those bowls of candy, please be aware that your furry friends may stumble upon dangers you may not have considered.

Many of our favorite Halloween traditions could pose a potential threat to our companion animals. As pet parents start to make plans for trick-or-treating or costumes, they should be aware of Halloween-related products and activities that can be potentially dangerous to pets.

The following are just a few precautions you should take:

No Chocolate: Even if your pet has a sweet tooth, ingesting chocolate—especially baker’s and dark chocolate—can be dangerous for dogs and cats, possibly causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and even seizures.

No Sweets for the Sweet: Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.

Dangerous Décor: Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

Keep Pets Safely Indoors and Confined: All that knocking and noise, kids and costumes, could scare your pets or make them very anxious.  As well, many people are frightened by dogs they aren’t familiar with.  There’s also the danger they may bolt out the door with the constant opening and closing.  Don’t take a chance by having your pet outside either.  Unattended outdoor pets can become a target for some of the more dangerous “monsters” that may use the holiday as an excuse.

Best for everyone is to place your pets in another room with their favorite toys, bed or pillow and blanket until the festivities are over for the comfort and safety of everyone.

Don’t Play with Fire: Keep your pets away from jack-o-lanterns with lit candles inside—knocking the pumpkin over can easily cause a fire. And curious kittens can get burned or singed by candle flames.

Costume Caution: Although dressing up our furry family members may be fun and amusing for us, it may not be as much fun and amusement for them.  Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know that they don’t mind it. And be careful of the costume you choose, some costumes can cause skin irritations, obstruct a pet’s vision or impede his breathing.

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