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Photo © Willee Cole - Fotolia

Make sure your dog is safe this Halloween. There are many elements that can actually spook you and your dog if you don't watch out.

Candy is the biggest problem. Grab a handful for yourself then put the rest where your dog or cat can't reach for a treat on his own. Hershey's kisses are not good for your pets -- any chocolate is downright dangerous. Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs, can trigger vomiting, diarrhea and — if eaten in larger amounts — seizures and even death.

Its not just what's on the inside of that candy, the outside can be a real problem too. A dog's nose works pretty well and just the smell of candy can get them going, but ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction requiring surgery. It’s very important to stress to your kids to keep all candy wrappers out of the reach of pets.

Sugar-free candy doesn't mean worry-free, it means you could have some serious problems. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that's in sugar-free candy, gum, mints, and baked goods. A small amount of xylitol can cause a rapid and dangerous blood sugar drop in dogs, as well as acute liver failure. Xylitol's effect on cats is not known but why risk it?

You might think raisins are healthy. Well, they are healthy for humans but not a good choice for pets. They are toxic to dogs and cats and can potentially cause kidney failure in very small amounts. Chocolate-covered raisins pose an even bigger risk.

Freaked-out dog

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Costume selection for people could freak out your dog. We know zombies aren't real right? Maybe they aren't but even Minnie Mouse can spook a dog and cause them to bark and then bolt, turning a night of trick or treating into tricking.

Make sure your pet has an ID tag and is wearing it.

Your dog's costume should fit well. Don't let them chew a part of it off or smother themselves.

You really don't want your dog to glow in the dark. The glow sticks that kids use so they are visible can disappear inside a dog as soon as they bite into it. They usually are non-toxic but ASPCA Poison Control commonly gets calls about pets puncturing the sticks. They taste really nasty; you can give your dog a treat or a sip of milk to stop the taste reaction.

You know how your dog goes crazy when the doorbell rings when UPS drops off a package. Well, multiply that by 50 times and you have a really stressed-out dog. Keep your dog away from the door in a separate bedroom so the doorbell doesn't create a ton of anxiety.

Just keep a close watch on your pet and have a safe and Happy Halloween.


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