If you’re like me, you like all things Halloween: costumes, haunted houses, and pumpkins. But I’m willing to bet that your pet isn’t as big a fan as you are. When it comes to your pet and Halloween, there are more important things to keep in mind than what costume to put them in.

Just as you may have been terrified of some Halloween costumes when you were a kid, your pet may be frightened by costumes. Your pet can’t distinguish between a human in a monster costume and a monster, and that can be very scary! That’s why it’s incredibly important to keep your pet in a secure location, preferably on a leash, away from Trick-or-Treaters. It’s important that your pet doesn’t have an opportunity to escape or lash out and particularly spooky visitors. Halloween is a peak time for pets run away, so make sure yours is microchipped and all their info is up to date!

Candy can be very harmful to your pet. As you probably already know, chocolate is very dangerous for dogs and cats alike. This toxicity varies dramatically on the type of chocolate, typically the more dense the chocolate, the worse it is for your pet. Contact your veterinarian any time your pet consumes chocolate just to be safe.

Consuming non-chocolate treats can also be bad for your pet. Candy causes upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. More seriously, it can cause pancreatitis as most candy contains much more sugar than your pet can handle. Generally pancreatitis is treatable but requires hospitalization. Pancreatitis must be diagnosis with an exam and blood work but signs are usually vomiting or refusal to eat.

Keep a close eye on your pet this Halloween and be sure to call your veterinarian if you pet gets into any candy!