Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Captain Underpants… Whatever costumes your children choose for Halloween this year, there’s a good chance your human family members will want to involve your pets in the fun. And, while some pets will enjoy being part of the festivities (and might not even mind wearing costumes), the spooky holiday isn’t for every pet. Here are a few tips to keep your sweet canine or feline from turning into a scary nightmare this Halloween.

#1: Candy consumption
We all know the hazards of chocolate for dogs, but what about the hidden dangers of xylitol? A common sugar substitute, xylitol is popping up in baked goods, gum, and candies. This sweetener can cause a dangerous drop in blood glucose, liver failure, and seizures, and can also kill a dog. Let your pet enjoy the fun of treats by creating her own goody bag to rummage through instead of your child’s, or your own.

#2: Costume claustrophobia
While your pet may be as cute as a button all dolled up, that button can be a choking hazard or intestinal obstruction. Stick with a simple bandana tied loosely around your pet’s neck instead of a flashy costume with straps, ties, or buttons.

#3: Eager escapee
With all the hubbub surrounding trick-or-treaters, your pet may take advantage of your distraction and dart out between costumed legs through the open front door. Close off access to the door, or let your pet relax in her crate for the evening with a special treat.

#4: Stranger danger
A group of strange people is scary enough for a pet, but a horde of monsters is enough to make your furry friend howl in terror. If you’re having a Halloween party or anticipate a load of trick-or-treaters, create a sanctuary for your pet that anyone who isn’t naturally furred cannot access. Pack the place with toys, treats, and a cozy bed for a relaxing hideaway.

#5: Dangerous decorations
Rotting jack-o’-lanterns, broken glow sticks, and synthetic spiderwebs all pose a threat to your four-legged friend. Ensure your decorations are out of paws’ reach, as inquisitive noses may sniff out interesting decorations and nibble something that could be harmful.

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your pet. Contact us if you have questions about keeping your pet safe this Halloween!