CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The MSPCA’S Angell Animal Medical Center is warning about the dangers that pet owners need to watch out for this Halloween season.

According to a news release sent to 22News from MSCPA, they treat over 100,000 animals each year and are one of the busiest 24-7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals in the world. The best part of Halloween for most is the candy, and that is the biggest threat to pets. According to Dr. Susan O’Bell of Angell Animal Medical Center’s primary care service, “Chocolates and other sweets can be harmful to a pet’s stomach.”

“Pets deserve to enjoy the holiday with us, but instead of sharing candy or other sweet treats, consider getting specially-made treats for pets. And, make sure to store candy in places that pets, especially dogs, can’t get to it,” said O’Bell.

“If your pet does eat candy, contact your veterinarian or poison control,” said O’Bell. “Depending on what your pet ate and how much of it, they may recommend monitoring at home, but it could be more serious as many sweets, such as chocolate, are toxic for dogs. So, it’s important to act fast.”

Lee Chambers from the Dakin Humane Society also says keeping your pet enclosed on Halloween night is important for a few reasons. First, it prevents them from slipping out the front door. Second, they can de-stress away from the extra activity, which is important when people are dressed in costumes.

“One thing, it sounds a little silly and maybe people don’t think about it, but if you’re going to wear a mask, let your dog see you in that mask first so they know it’s you and they don’t get scared or reactive,” said Chambers.

Some advice from O’Bell to pet parents for Halloween:

  •  Pet costumes: If you choose to dress your pet up this Halloween, make sure the costumes don’t restrict breathing or vision. Also, be sure that they can’t get tangled in furniture or other objects.
  • Remember outdoor pets: If you have rabbits or other pets that live outside, leave an outdoor light on to keep their area illuminated and check on them throughout Halloween night.
  • Watch the door: It’s easy for pets to slip outside unnoticed when owners open the door for trick-or-treaters. Consider using a baby gate to keep pets indoors or put your pet in a safe area of the home that they can’t escape from.
  • Halloween frights: People in costume can be frightening for pets, so it’s important for owners to help them become familiar with the new looks prior to wearing them. Lay out costumes well in advance of Halloween, giving dogs and cats the opportunity to see and smell them.