5 ways for your pet to have a spooky, safe Halloween

by Darris Cooper, CPDT-KA

(NAPS) — It's no secret that pets are like family—holiday traditions included. This Halloween bring your pups in on the spooky fun by decking them out in a scary cute costume and training them to be the most polite trick-or-treater on the block.From fun costumes to virtual and in-person dog training, Petco has everything a pet parent needs to make Halloween a howling good time for the whole family.

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Whether your family is planning to trick-or-treat or celebrate at home, here are five surefire ways to help prep your pet:

• Plan Your Pet's Look: Petco’'s latest "Bootique" collection features an array of ready-to-wear Halloween apparel, accessories, matching costumes and more. Dogs can play a different role in the animal kingdom as a shark or cow or even twin with their human as tigers. From easy-on options to full-body costumes, the "Bootique" is full of costumes designed with care so all types of pets and preferences can find their match.

• Take Precautions: Once the whole pack has picked their costumes, have a pre-Halloween dress rehearsal so your pup can get used to the outfit and accustomed to everyone else’s.

Before any festivities begin, triple-check your pet's costume for any hazardous materials that could be chewed or cause choking. To stay safe after sundown, every Halloween look should also include reflective gear and proper pet identification.

• Learn the Training Basics: Basic skills such as "sit" and "stay" can make all the difference for dogs when it comes to safely interacting with trick-or-treaters and helping your pet navigate the Halloween commotion. "Drop it" or "leave it" are additional key training cues in case your curious pup sniffs or picks up any human treats—such as chocolate—that could be toxic to dogs. Preemptive Petco positive dog training can be helpful to teach your pet proper Halloween etiquette and keep the holiday fun for all.

• Offer Treats in Moderation: Although it's tempting to indulge pets around the holidays, it’s important to remember that no more than 10% of a pet’s daily calorie intake should be from treats. Help keep pets energized for the Halloween festivities by giving them protein-packed treats, such as Wholehearted stick treats for dogs or new freeze-dried treats for cats, or find other ways to celebrate the season with them through fun seasonal toys such as a plush pumpkin spice latte or rope toy. To help keep pets feeling their best year-round, give them the ultimate treat of Vital Care for just $19 a month to enjoy savings on grooming, vet exams and more.

• Create a Spook-Free Safe Haven: Between constant doorbell rings, unknown trick-or-treaters and spooky costumes, Halloween festivities can add to pets’ anxiety. The best way to help your pet is by learning to identify their anxious behavior and which calming tactics work best for them. Petco offers an array of calming aids, chews or oil diffusers to help keep pets at ease. Background noise from either music or the TV can help drown out unusual sounds, but it's also a good idea to give pets a quiet room away from the action.For more tips on how to safely celebrate Halloween with the whole family—cats, bearded dragons, and guinea pigs included—check out a Petco pet care center or petco.com/halloween.

About the author - Darris Cooper, CPDT-KA, is the National Dog Training Manager at Petco. He has worked in the industries of animal training and behavior, pet lifestyle and broadcast journalism, and has been a professional dog trainer for more than 10 years.