(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Americans are expected to spend $700 million on Halloween costumes for their pets in 2022, but the season can be more trick than treat when it comes to safety.

Camp Bow Wow is sharing pet safety tips to keep in mind as the holiday approaches from its Animal Health & Behavior Expert Erin Askeland.

Tips for Halloween pet safety

  1. Do not take your pets trick-or-treating. It’s possible that your dog could get spooked by a ghost or goblin and even the friendliest dog could bite someone to protect itself or you from what it perceives as a threat. Instead, keep your pet in a safe, secluded space so they cannot escape when the door opens to trick-or-treaters.
  1. Make sure your pet’s costume is safe. Your pet may look adorable in his new superhero costume, but that cape won’t necessarily keep him out of harm’s way. Costumes should not constrict the animal’s movement, hearing or sight or impede their ability to breathe, bark or meow. Avoid small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that animals could choke on. It is helpful to try on costumes before Halloween, and if your pet seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, don’t force them to wear it.
  1. Don’t feed your pets candy. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark and baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Instead, give your pooch their own Halloween candy by treating them to their favorite doggy snack. If you do suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or your local poison control center immediately.
  1. Look out for potentially dangerous decorations. Keep an eye out for decorative edible items like Halloween pumpkins and candy corn when participating in Halloween festivities with your pet. While these are relatively nontoxic, they can cause stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

Looking to get your pet involved in your spooky activities? Meridian Ranch is hosting a Halloween Dog Parade on Oct. 22 at the Meridian Ranch Recreation Center, 10301 Angeles Rd, in Peyton.

Under the Sun Training and Daycare is also hosting a Barks and Boos Fall Fest on Oct. 23, featuring costumed pup parades every half hour, prizes, dog enrichment activities, and K9 demonstration from the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Canine Unit.