Beware of These 9 Frightful Pet Perils on Halloween!

All Hallows' Eve can be fun and games for humans and pets alike, but just like taking candy from strangers, Halloween activities still warrant pet parent supervision. We all know to keep pups out of the chocolate and kitty tails away from pumpkin candles, but what about some of the more obscure dangers? I'm not aiming to cause pet paranoia, but before you set out for trick-or-treating, think about how you'll address these nine Halloween hazards!

— Additional reporting by Sara Yoo

Jack-O'-Lantern Candles
Flickr user alishav

Jack-O'-Lantern Candles

Open flames are always a scary pet danger and especially so when encased in an enticing jack-o'-lantern. Tails, ears, and noses run the risk of getting singed, and candles can be knocked over and start fires. Consider using battery-powered, flameless candles instead.

Trick-or-Treat Bags
Flickr user itchys

Trick-or-Treat Bags

When kids lug home the evening's booty, keep an eye on your pet: those bags of loot contain all sorts of hazards to a hungry cat or dog. Chocolate, raisins, and candy containing the sweetener xylitol are toxic for dogs and cats. Candy wrappers and small toys can cause choking or bowel blockages that need to be surgically removed. Keep your pets away from the post-trick-or-treating revelry, and thoroughly tidy up afterward to ensure that he can't find any souvenirs under the couch!

Glow Sticks
Flickr user timo_w2s

Glow Sticks

Do you know what else looks like candy? Glow sticks! Those colorful light-up sticks that lead you through the dark can be very tempting to orally fixated pets, but that glowing goop on the inside is no sweet treat. While the amount contained in one glow stick probably isn't toxic, it can irritate your pet's mouth and cause him to vomit, which probably is not the Halloween surprise you're hoping for.

Pet Costumes
PetSmart

Pet Costumes

Your pet sure looks cute when dressed up, but any costume with small parts can pose a choking or digestive hazard if he manages to chew them off. Always supervise your pet while he's wearing his costume, and take it slow when donning his disguise in case getting in character makes him skittish.

Pranksters
Flickr user ryusuke

Pranksters

Pet parents of black cats beware: Halloween is one night you'll want to keep your pets inside. Unfortunately, pranksters may use your kitty for their cruel jokes, so even if she would like to be a part of the evening's festivities, it's best to limit her activities to the indoor kind.

Pumpkins
Flickr user aukirk

Pumpkins

While fresh or canned pumpkin has several health benefits, a carved jack-o'-lantern can pose health hazards if left within reach of hungry cats and dogs. When the inside of a pumpkin is exposed to air, it will begin to grow bacteria and mold, which can lead to sick pets if ingested. Keep carved pumpkins away from pets, and if they can't resist the taste of these Fall squashes, give them a treat of fresh or canned pumpkin instead!

Exposed Electrical Cords
Flickr user kichigai

Exposed Electrical Cords

That cackling witch and those eerie lights you've set up on your front porch need to be plugged in somewhere, but those extra electrical cords can seem like a new chew toy for cats and dogs alike. Make sure that you tuck the cords out of reach where enthusiastic munchers can't get to them.

Scary Human Costumes
Flickr user stinkiepinkie_infinity

Scary Human Costumes

You may be the center of your pet's world, but put on a scary mask, and you could become just as frightening as the strangers outside. If you plan to wear a costume around your pet, spend some time getting him acquainted with it before you step into your disguise. Let him smell it and give plenty of praise as you slowly don it piece by piece.

Open Doors
Flickr user 28th 61st

Open Doors

If you're in a high-traffic trick-or-treat neighborhood, chances are that your front door will open several times throughout the evening. Keep tabs on your pet at all times and consider keeping him confined if he's a real escape artist. At night, dogs and cats can encounter all kinds of dangers when on the loose. Also make sure that your pet is wearing an ID tag in the unfortunate event that he does go on the lam.