Here are a fewLabrador mix wearing costume tips to help keep your pets safe during this spooky time of year.

Guard the Black Cat

People get superstitious during Halloween. Black cats have been known to bear the brunt of it. Best to keep black cats—whether they’re indoor or outdoor pets—indoors during the latter part of the day, advises Miguel Moran, Surgical Clinical Lead at SAGE Dublin.

Some animal supporters have even stopped doing black cat adoptions on Halloween, fearing the animals will be used in occult sacrifices. But the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says there’s no proof that this happens—it’s more myth than reality. Still, we suggest erring on the side of caution and keeping black cats indoors.

Don’t Force the Costume

Pets look adorable in costumes, but don’t make them suffer for our traditions. If your pet fights the garb, listen. Then set it aside.

Watch the Door Bells and Doors

Doorbells and door knocks can unnerve even the mellowest pets. Moran recommends keeping nervous pets, or pets recovering from surgery, on a leash to prevent running. Another option is to keep them in a quiet room away from the door so they won’t be alerted every time there’s a knock.

Keep Candy at Bay

For better or worse, Halloween is the start of treat season. Candy and sweets are everywhere, and none of these foods are healthy for your pet. Chocolates, raisins, grapes and nuts can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Xylitol, a sugar substitute traditionally found in gum, candy, and dental products, is now being used in other food products, at coffee stands, and in baked goods and some brands of peanut butter. Xylitol can cause insulin release that can lead to liver failure. When decorating or getting ready for guests, take an extra moment to make sure that candy and sweets are not within reach of your curious, sniffing animal noses!

Avoid Tipsy Pumpkins

The grinning jack-o-lantern with candle burning inside sets the ambiance, but it can also be a fire hazard. Keep these decorative items away from pets to prevent tip-overs, or better yet, opt for LED-powered lights.