We see it on the news, in our news feed on social media and hear it happen by those we know. Halloween is that time of year where everyone gets so excited for the treats, fireworks, parties and other festive fun. With all that going on it is easy to forget how even though it’s fun for us but a totally different feeling for the family pets. Here is some tips to keep the holiday fun for everyone.

1.Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  So be sure to keep the treats up high and in a cupboard.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night.

4. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

5. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.

6. Who doesn’t like music.
If you keep your pet in a single room (bathroom, bedroom, garage..etc) why not play some music to help drown out the sounds of fireworks and other Halloween sounds. It will help keep them calm and less stressed.

If you do decide to bring your furry pal along for the trick-or-treat walk around the neighborhood now would be a good time to make sure that their collar and leash are both fitting as they should be and aren’t worn out in any one place. Remember leashes with reflective strips are always a great option for night time to help keep them seen by any cars.
8. Keep the windows closed
It isn’t a secret to any cat owner, most of our feline friends love to sit on window ledges. Much like keeping them away from the doors on this night remember to shut the windows as well. It will help keep them safe in the home with no chance of bolting outside.

9. Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets.
Although the liquid in these products isn’t likely toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely.

10. Treats for all.
After all the fun and excitement dies down, why not give your furry little one a special treat or two for making it through the night.

I hope these tips / ideas help keep your family pets safe this Halloween.