Boo! Halloween is fast approaching and all of us at Country Critters Veterinary Hospital want to let you in on some helpful tips to keep your spooky pets safe from all the haunts! While most people automatically think of chocolate as the "Halloween problem" for our pets, there are a lot more potential causes for harm than just the bags of candies the kids bring home from trick-or-treating. Our decorations around the house, or even that adorable costume that your cat just LOVES to wear can also pose a threat to the well-being of our pets. Be sure that your pet's costumes fit appropriately and don't have anything that can be chewed off and ingested. Likewise, make sure that they are always attended when in range of our Halloween decorations as many of these spooky accessories can also become choking/ GI obstruction hazards, especially those delicious Jack-O-Lanterns which can potentially lead to need for surgical removal of the objects should they become stuck in their GI tract. Most people know that chocolate is toxic (and if you didn't, now you do!) to our pets. Keep the candy bags up high off the ground or behind closed doors that your pets cannot reach or get into. Another common toxicity we see around Halloween is xylitol, which is found in things like sugar-free chewing gum, and this particular substance is toxic because it affects your pet's blood sugar and liver function. If your pet does get into the candy bag, contact us ASAP so we can help avoid potentially fatal illness that can arise eating things they shouldn't. One more consideration is how often your doors are opening and closing with the neighborhood kids trick-or-treating. Both dogs and cats can easily slip past an open door and become lost and afraid. Keep your pets (cats/ dogs/ small mammals) in a closed room without access to the windows/ doors that will be opened often to avoid them sneaking past you or your family. Also consider microchipping your pets (yes, cats too!) to ensure that, should they get lost, they will have a better chance at getting back home. Stay safe and have fun!