Hi, hoomans! Oh, man. Mozart is so excited about Halloween, just like the tiny hoomans in the house. Okay, sure. I’m not exactly dreading it.

Fine, fine. I love Halloween, too. This is one of those holidays we all look forward to every year, but sometimes, in all the excitement, hoomans forget that some of the celebrations can be dangerous for us dogs. If you want the whole family to stay safe this holiday, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Careful Doggie Dress Up

Some pups may not mind a little costume, but others won’t be so excited to dress up. Judge your dog’s reactions to the outfit while you put the costume on. If he’s less than thrilled, consider letting him go as himself this year. Some of the signs to watch for are a tucked tail, trembling, excessive drooling or licking of lips, and tugging at the costume with his teeth.

If your dog is okay with a costume, make sure it doesn’t contain any materials or accessories that could harm your pup. Choose outfits that don’t have a lot of loose material that could get hung in closing doors or caught on furniture. Run your fingers around the neck hole and leg holes to make sure nothing is too tight so that you don’t choke your pup or cut off circulation. Watch for any loose items that could become choking hazards, like beads, plastic accessories, or other fun bits of costuming.

Finally, never leave us unattended while we’re in costume. If the unlikely does happen—choking or getting caught—we’ll need you there to save us!

Keep Us Secure

No matter how well behaved your dog is on a daily basis, we’re all sure to be much more excited on Halloween. Kids are running everywhere, screaming and laughing! We’ll want to get involved—or we’ll want to hide away from the hustle and bustle.

To be safe, keep us closed away when kids come to the door for their trick or treat. We’ll be able to see just fine from our crate, or you can keep us penned in behind a kiddie gate. Also, be sure to close off the doggie doors. One little scare could send us darting away into the night.

Make sure that our costumes don’t obscure our IDs, just in case we do get separated. The easier it is for a finder to contact you, the sooner we’ll be back in your arms.

Keep Treats Out of Reach

During this time of year, lots of treats that are bad for doggos come through the door. Your kids will have pillowcases and plastic pumpkins filled with chocolate, nuts, and possibly artificial sweeteners, all of which are toxic for dogs. Instead of dumping the loot on the floor where we can snag it, go through the haul on tables or countertops where we’re less likely to have access.

Some of your decorations can be tempting for us, too. While corn stalks and hay bales aren’t necessarily toxic—unless they’ve been out long enough to get moldy, they could cause some upset if we eat too much. The same goes for that pumpkin you carved into a jack o’ lantern. The pumpkin itself won’t cause any harm—in fact, dogs love pumpkin—but any stray seeds could be a problem.

With these tips in mind, you and your pups can enjoy a safe and happy Halloween. And hey, doggo friends? Don’t be afraid to tattle on your brothers and sisters if you see them getting into the candy or trying to follow the tiny hoomans out the door. Sometimes you have to be the bad guy to be the good guy. Happy Howl-oween!

Expect big things!