I have always loved Halloween. Twenty-one years ago, a week before Halloween, I got my very first dog. I have always taken pet Halloween safety very seriously and made my family follow a special protocol. Here's how:
Outdoor cats should be in by 4pm, locked in a room away from the front door. Have a special meal, treat, or new toy as a reward. My sister's first cat, raw-fed Lucy, used to enjoy a whole quail. Fittingly gruesome for Halloween!
Dogs should also be locked in a room away from the front door before the first trick-or-treaters arrive, in a crate if they're comfortable. Even friendly dogs might be scared by a costume or bolt out the door with a loud noise. A large bone or stuffed Kong makes the time pass. For noise-sensitive dogs, play classical music or download Through a Dog's Ear, and consider using a Thundershirt. For severe anxiety, ask for a prescription medication from your veterinarian.
Everyone should be wearing identification, as shelters intake many loose strays around Halloween or any time there are fireworks. Happy Howl-o-Ween!