With Halloween fast approaching, the Humane Society of Missouri offered pet owners these tips to help keep their four-legged friends safe and happy:

Keep pets safely inside, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities to ensure they don’t become frightened or feel threatened at the sight of noisy, costumed children.

Frequently opened doors can provide an opportunity for pets to leave unnoticed during all the commotion.

Consider keeping cats in a separate room with the door closed. Keep dogs on a leash, place them in their crates or confine them to another room using baby gates.

Be sure all pets wear collars with ID tags and have them microchipped so if they do get lost they are easier to find.

Don’t take the family dog trick-or-treating. Dogs may become difficult to handle during the excitement of the festivities. A lost dog or a dog bite will quickly end Halloween fun.

Cats, especially loose or black cats, may be the target of pranksters. All cat owners are advised to keep their cats safely indoors during the Halloween season.

Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic and potentially life-threatening to cats, dogs and ferrets.

Keep pets away from decorations. Flames in jack-o-lanterns and candles can quickly singe, burn or set fire to a pet’s fur.

Pets can become tangled in hanging decorations like streamers and can choke on some decorations if they chew on them.

Only put your pet in a costume if you know he will enjoy it. Many pets dislike the confinement of costumes and masks. A printed bandana or fun collar can be just as cute and often more comfortable for your pet.

If you decide to have your pet wear a costume:

•Make sure it is safe and not annoying. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow.

•Examine the costume and make sure it doesn’t have any small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces to choke on.

•Remember that ill-fitting outfits can get caught on external objects or on your pet, leading to injury.

For more Halloween safety tips for pets, people can visit www.hsmo.org.