Most of us out there grew up celebrating Halloween. We carefully chose costumes, carved pumpkins, went trick-or-treating, and—perhaps most importantly—did some candy trading so that we could stock up on our favorites. After years of the buzz, activity, and sugar highs from this spooky holiday, we may take it for granted and not give a second thought to what ghoulish hazards await our pet. Here are five Halloween horrors that can harm your furry friend.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Halloween doesn’t have to turn into a nightmare for your furry friends. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about keeping your pet safe this October.