Tips to keep your pets safe from Halloween harm

With all of the excitement surrounding this spooky holiday, it's easy to overlook Fido or Fluffy, and that can have fatal consequences. Following these five safety precautions will help ensure your pets -- or visitors -- aren't harmed during All Hallow's Eve.

Candy & Treats: Many pet owners know that dogs shouldn't eat chocolate. There is an increase in chocolate toxicity during Halloween. Consider scouting out alternative treats, such as homemade pumpkin treats so they can indulge in something other than chocolate. All dog owners should be aware of the sugar substitute, xylitol. This can be deadly for dogs, causing a dangerous drop in blood sugar and possible liver damage.

Costumes: Costumes aren't for every pet. If you do plan to dress your pet up, make sure your pet's costume is comfortable, non-restricting, and doesn't have any loose pieces they might try to swallow.

Trick-or-Treating: Remember to keep your pet's identification on them at all times. A startled pet may dart out the door when the doorbell rings with trick-or-treaters. Consider keeping them in their crate or in a different area of the house.

Decorations: Lights, cords, paper decorations, fake spider webs, maize, candy wrappers, and other fall decor can be tempting for pets and dangerous if consumed. Always keep smaller chewable items out of reach.

Protect candles: Even if they're placed in pumpkins, candles can pose a threat to pets. Candles that aren't protected are even more dangerous, as fascinated pets might try to play with them while no one's in the room, or knocking them over with a tail wag and starting a fire. Make sure an adult is assigned "candle duty" and keeps an eye on any you use during Halloween. This will help prevent you from leaving the house for a party or trick-or-treating with candles left burning while you're away.