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Halloween can get too spooky for your pets

Roanoke Valley SPCA shares how costumes, candy and decorations can be a hazard

ROANOKE, Va. – A lot of the things we know and love about Halloween can be hazardous to our pets. 

10 News reporter Megan Woods spent the morning at Roanoke Valley SPCA to learn what you need to look out for this spooky season. Below are additional tips. For more information on adoptable pets at Roanoke Valley SPCA, click here

Stash the Treats

The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. 

Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach

While a carved jack-o'-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. 

Be Careful with Costumes

For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. We recommend that you don't put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her "birthday suit" or don a festive bandana instead.

Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable

Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn't dart outside.  Better yet, keep pets in a bedroom during the festivities.  And always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.