Halloween is an exciting time for families, and your canine companion will likely want to get in on the action. While they may be excited to ham it up in their canine costume, it is important to remember that this time of year can be stressful for pets. Shrieking trick-or-treaters, frequent doorbell ringing and tempting goodies can all leave your canine companion ready to howl. This year, use these strategies to keep your companion safe while helping them to enjoy the holiday. \r\n \r\nUse Caution with Costumes \r\n\r\nSome canine companions love dressing up, but others may not be so excited about wearing anything but their natural fur. If your canine companion prefers to go as themselves this year, then respect their preference. When using a costume, take time to double check that there is not any embellishments that could pose a choking hazard such as tiny bells or buttons. Additionally, choose a well-fitted costume because one that is too loose could get hung up on something and cause injury.\r\n\n Double Up on Identification \r\n \r\nAlthough your canine companion may know not to run out the front door, it is always possible they may lose control in all of the excitement. Take the time to double check that your companion has a collar with a tag and a microchip. If you have recently moved or changed contact information, make sure that this is updated as well. \r\n\r\nBe Wary of Decorations \r\n\r\nPumpkins and decorative corn look relatively harmless and add a touch of fall’s bounty to your home décor. While these plants are fairly non-toxic, they can cause your canine companion to have an upset stomach should they take a nibble. Pumpkins with candles in them can also pose a risk to your canine companion if they accidentally knock one over, and strings of Halloween lights could cause them to fall. \r\n\r\nIf you take your canine companion with you trick-or-treating then scan each yard for potential dangers as you approach. Also, use caution and place seasonal decorations out of your companion’s reach around the home. \r\n\r\n Avoid Toxic Treats \r\n\r\nCandy and other delicious treats are part of the Halloween fun, but most of the season’s favorite goodies are toxic to your cherished canine. Chocolate, gum containing xylitol and chewy candies could all cause serious health problems. Make sure to keep the treat bowl out of reach, and teach any children about the dangers of sharing their treats with their canine friend. If you want to give them a special treat, then choose an all-natural cookie designed specifically for canines or a bit of their favorite food. \r\n\r\n Give Them a Private Space \r\n\r\nEven the most social canine companions may become distressed at the sight of strangers knocking at the front door. If your pet tends to bark or growl, then consider placing them in another room during the height of the trick-or-treating. Canine companions who enjoy company may still need a separate space where they can retreat if it gets to be too much. \r\n\r\nAdd a few comfort items to the space, such as a favorite toy or soft blanket, so that they can enjoy the evening in peace. When night falls and strangers begin to knock at the door, its perfectly normal for your canine companion to be a bit spooked. \r\n\r\nWhile you naturally want to involve them in your family’s activities, it is important to keep safety in mind throughout the evening. By ensuring that your pet is comfortable, easily identified and steered clear of dangerous food and decorations, you can enjoy Halloween while creating the sweetest of memories.