Halloween is just a few days away 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.

Mind the doorbell
Does your pet get excited—perhaps too excited—when someone comes to the door? If so, put him in a dimly lit, comfortable room with soft music or a television on in the background to help muffle the sounds of ghosts and goblins ringing the doorbell. Bring in his bed, a few favorite toys, and something to keep him occupied, like a puzzle toy with treats hidden inside.

Keep the candy away
They’re really not great for any of us, but many sugary treats can cause much more harm than a belly ache for our pets. Chocolate can be toxic to both cats and dogs, and many other ingredients in candy can spell trouble for our furry friends. Even the sugar-free varieties, which are often sweetened with xylitol—are dangerous. Be sure all candy is picked up and put into a safe location before bedtime. For a list of substances toxic to pets, visit the Pet Poison Helpline, and call our office if you think your pet might have accidentally consumed Halloween candy.

Consider the costume
Some pets feel comfortable wearing clothing. Others do not. If your pet hates dressing up, don’t dress them up. And if they love dressing up, be sure to choose a costume that is safe. Your pet’s costume should allow them to breathe, see, and move freely. They should be able to go to the bathroom, eat, drink, and bark or meow while wearing his costume. Never force your pet to wear a costume in which he doesn’t feel comfortable, even it makes him look cute as a button.

Halloween can be a fun time for humans and pets alike, especially when these simple precautions are taken to keep your furry pal safe and happy.