How to keep pets calm on Halloween

Halloween can be a stressful time for pets.

Halloween spending is expected to reach $8.8 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation. And 29 million people plan to dress their pets in costumes.

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But just as a "sexy Mr. Rogers costume" isn't for everyone, not all pets are into dressing up. Halloween can be a stressful time for pets. There are strange people coming to the front door, people wearing weird costumes and unusual decorations popping up at home and around the neighborhood.

Here are some tips on how to keep things as pleasant as possible for furry friends on Halloween:

Costumes

CULVER CITY, CA - OCTOBER 26: Miss Coco Puff dressed in a dog costume poses for a photo at Lootcrate Presents HOWLoween Costume Contest held at Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch on October 26, 2016 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)

Only dress your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they enjoy it, the ASPCA says. Make sure costumes don't limit a pet's ability to move, see, breathe, bark or meow. Also, watch for small dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard and pieces that could get caught on something, the group says.

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Someplace safe

A cute tender white English bull terrier is sleeping on a bed under a white knitted blanket. Winter Is Coming

For pets who are shy or get spooked by strangers, it's a good idea to keep them in a separate room once Halloween activities get underway, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Put a sign on the door so guests know to stay out, and make favorite toys and other familiar items available to help pets stay calm. The society also recommends sitting outside to meet trick-or-treaters so they don't have to ring the doorbell or knock on the door.

Dangerous goods

Nestle candy products are displayed the company's news conference in New York.

Keep dangerous foods and decorations away from pets. Chocolate can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, as can candies with the sugar substitute xylitol, according to the ASPCA. Rotting pumpkins can harbor bad bacteria, and glow sticks and fake blood can also be poisonous, according to the Humane Society. Even decorations like scented candles and potpourri can be toxic to birds.

The ASPCA operates a Poison Control Center. Its number is 888-426-4435.

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Stay inside

A cockapoo dog lies down on a fluffy rug in the living room.

The Humane Society also advises pet owners to keep their pets inside, at all times for cats and before night falls for dogs. In case they do get loose, make sure pets have tags and microchips with up-to-date information.

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