Don’t leave your pet vulnerable to any tricks—or treats—this Halloween

Kenneth Winingham (right), then-freshman in elementary education, and Adrien Beaty (middle), then-junior in animal science, pet a young dog named Cy at the Pet Away Stress event in the Waters Quad on Oct. 12, 2016. (Archive photo by Miranda Snyder | Collegian Media Group)

For a lot of people, pets are part of the family — that means they can be a part of the holiday fun, too. This Halloween, be sure to remember that while dressing your furry friend up can make a cute Instagram picture, safety precautions are necessary to keep them safe.

According to the ASPCA website, costumes can have a negative effect on the pet wearing them. Be sure your pet likes the costume and that it is comfortable and can move, breathe, see and vocalize. Try the costume on prior to Halloween to ensure your pet will be okay in it.

The ASPCA also says decorations can be potentially harmful to animals. Watch out for lose cords, candles and anything else that could be harmful to a curious four-legged friend.

The PetMD website warns pet owners to be extremely cautious about the candies and treats left lying around. Much of what humans eat isn’t healthy for cats or dogs and can be lethal. This includes chocolate and any candy with the artificial sugar sweetener xylitol. This sweetener can cause liver failure in dogs, so be sure to know what you are exposing your pet to.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing and seizures. If you suspect your pet may be in danger, call your veterinarian immediately.

Lastly, PetMD advises people to avoid leaving their pets outside and always have them wearing identification tags. Halloween is a dark and busy night, and the last thing you want is for your furry friend to get lost or taken.

If your pet does end up lost, having ID tags will increase the chance your pup or cat will be returned. Halloween is a fun night, but you want to make sure your pet will be there for a long time afterward.

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.