Halloween is a great time for the kids and the grown-ups to dress up in cool and scary costumes . But this may not be a great time for your cat or dog .

Using safety tips and common sense can help you make the most of your Halloween season:

• Pets are safest inside the home when trick-or-treaters come calling.

• Keep pets away from the front door and in a separate room. Pets, especially dogs, are easily excitable or threatened by strangers.

• Don’t share any sweets with pets, especially chocolate . Sweets are toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances and even death. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or other sweet that causes discomfort, consult your vet immediately.

• Owners of Black cats should take extra precautions by confining the feline to the house several days before Halloween. This will reduce the chances of someone abducting your black cat. Even kids who mean no harm may yell at or chase a black cat .

• If the four-legged members of the family will be participating in this year’s Halloween festivities, there are a few key points to remember, says Bill Handy of the Dog Dish in Tulsa. First, make it fun. Don’t force pets to wear costumes if they’re not already accustomed to dressing up. A bandana or lightweight party collar in a Halloween motif is a great alternative to a full costume, and most pets won’t even know they’re wearing it.

• Keep pets away from lighted jack-o-lanterns. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned.

Also, remember to choose costumes that won’t obstruct your pets’ vision or limit their mobility in any way. Even the most well-behaved little fur balls can become real ghouls if they feel stifled by uncomfortable costumes.