Halloween is here and there will be hoards of trick-or-treaters roaming the neighborhoods. Children in search of candy and teenagers and young adults out to play pranks. This Halloween while you're enjoying the holiday please remember to watch your pets. As responsible pet guardians we have to keep our animals safe from harm.

We need to take good care of pets and bring them inside where they will be safe from harm. A pet that is tethered outside or wandering loose is vulnerable to mischief. Pets can become scared and run away or they can be stolen and hurt or killed.

Trick-or-treaters can scare animals. Small strangers coming to the door who can be rowdy and loud. Pets who aren't accustomed to much company in their house can become fearful or aggressive. Once a tiny princess came into my doorway and reached for my shepherd mix. Luckily my dog recoiled in fear. I was amazed that the parent just stood there and watched.

Candy needs to be kept out of reach of pets. We have no idea what manufacturers put into candy. Many additives can make pets sick or kill them. Xylitol is an ingredient in sugarless gum. It is deadly if ingested by a pet. Chocolate will make animals sick. Large amounts of chocolate can kill a pet and the tin foil from wrappers is also a hazard to pets if ingested.

Costumes are cute on pets but they need to be practical if the animal is wearing the costume for a long period of time and will be walking around in it. As with children, costumes should not deter a pet's vision nor should they be so long as to trip them when walking. Be sure that your pet has access to drinking water if you are out for a long period of time. Dehydration can be a problem any time of the year.

Enjoy the Halloween holiday, but please remember to consider your pets. Pets are part of our family and we don't want anything to happen to them. Have a safe Halloween!

Animals Best Friends wish list includes: Purina One Puppy and Dog Chow, Purina Kitten and Cat and Chow, cow hooves or rawhides, canned dog and cat food, peanut butter, stuffed toys (no beads), HE laundry detergent, bleach, bleach spray cleaner, Fantastic spray cleaner, newspapers (without slick ads), paper towels, scoopable cat litter. There is a paper recycling bin in the parking lot at ABF Headquarters, 2302 S. Crysler Ave., Independence. Please, no cardboard or telephone books. We appreciate your support.