Halloween pet safety doesn't have to be tricky

While Halloween is lots of fun for the kids, it can be a scary and even dangerous time for your furry family members, says the ASPCA.

"Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn't have to be tricky. The ASPCA recommends taking these simple, common-sense precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy all the way to Nov. 1," says a PetMD article. 

1. Keep pets out of the yard: The ASPCA tells PetMD that Oct. 31 is the night for Rover to stay inside to avoid being teased, injured, stolen, or even killed. 

2. Candies are for kids, not pets: While big brown eyes yearning for candy are hard to resist, there are dangers to feeding dogs chocolate and candies containing xylitol. "All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats," says the PetMD article. 

"Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures." Halloween sweets containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. "Xylitol ingestion can also cause liver failure in dogs, even if they don't develop symptoms associated with low blood sugar," adds Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with PetMD. 

3. Be careful with costumes: If you want your pet to wear a costume, ensure that you try it on them before the night, advises the ASPCA. For some pets, a costume can cause stress or limit movement or vision. And, don't forget to check for dangling items that could be chewed off and cause a choking hazard. "If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her' birthday suit' or don a festive bandana instead," says the ASPCA article on their website.

4. Be careful with decorations and wires: Keep the jack-o-lantern out of reach as it can be knocked over and cause a fire. And popular decorations like pumpkins and decorative corn "can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them," says the ASPCA website.

5. Keep pets away from the front door: Even the best-behaved pet could get spooked and bolt out the door. "All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours; too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog," the ASPCA tells Petfinder.

6. Affix ID tags: Always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, says the ASPCA site adding, "if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet."