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October is the time of year where children and families get to let loose by dressing up and children get to binge on their favorite candy. But for our pets, Halloween can be dangerous if we don’t take the right precautions. Here’s what you can do to ensure your pet has a safe Halloween.

While children and parents alike are excited about the prospect of trick or treating with endless amounts of candy, our furry ones cannot share in that excitement. All forms of chocolate, as well as the sweetener xylitol used in many candies, can be extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. Make sure to store the trick-or-treat candy and your children’s loot where your pet can’t reach them. Also, talk to your kids about the dangers that candy can pose to their furry best friends.

When it comes to your Halloween decorations, keep your pets away from lit jack-o-lanterns so that they are not accidentally knocked over. Cats are especially at risk of accidentally being singed by the flame. Although pumpkins and corn are relatively nontoxic to pets, be sure to keep your dog or cat away from them, as they have been known to produce gastrointestinal issues. For lights and other spooky decorations, keep any electrical wires or cords secure and out of reach.

It’s also a good idea to keep your pets away from the door as you continually greet eager trick-or-treaters. Especially if you have a runner on your hands, keep your pet in a secure area where they can’t sneak through the door while you’re distracted handing out candy. Most importantly, make sure your pet is wearing identification in case they do happen to escape. Skittish and shy pets should also be kept away from the costumed kids and parents that come to your door on Halloween night so they do not become anxious.

Speaking of costumes, there are a lot of adorable costume options for your pets out there. But if you plan on dressing your pet in a costume, make sure it fits properly and your pet is comfortable. If your dog or cat isn’t used to being dressed up, give them some time before Halloween night to become accustomed to their costume. If your dog is making the trick-or-treating rounds with you and your children to show off his costume, remember to keep him on a leash beside you.

In following these tips, you won’t have to stress about the safety concerns for your pet this Halloween, and you and your family can enjoy a fun and festive holiday. Happy Halloween!

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