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By Nan Talleno

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Halloween should be a fun but safe time for all involved including your pets.

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Here are a few guidelines you can follow.

  1. Try to walk your dog before trick-or-treaters arrive to lessen any anxiety or over excitement.
  2. Keep your dogs and cats safely indoors during all the activity, if possible, in a safe and quiet area of your home. They can be easily frightened by the excessive sounds, unfamiliar people and unusual costumes and may experience it as intrusive and stressful especially at the front door. Because of that, be watchful there’s no bolting out the front door; they may perceive the unfamiliarity to be threatening and it can be overwhelming for them.
  3. Make sure both dogs and cats have collars, ID tags and microchips that are up to date.
  4. Keep them away from the candy bowl and the children’s trick or treat bag. Once you inspect the candy that your children bring home, remove it completely out of reach of the family pets. Keep in mind that chocolate is extremely toxic to both dogs and cats, especially sweets or gum that may contain the sweetener xylitol.
  5. Keep your vet’s number handy in case of an emergency. And also know the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center’s number (888-426-4435). Remove all candy wrappers too, since they can become a choking hazard.
  6. Keep your pet safely away from all jack-o-lanterns, candles and decorative lights and never leave lit candles unattended.