Halloween is creeping up on us all.
Its approach fills many children and adults with anticipation of the fun and frivolity the celebration harbours.
But pets don't understand the noisy antics that constitute the tricks of the season, and they will need help to assure healthy constraint when it comes to dealing with the treats.
Keep your cats indoors, as there are still people around who harbour medieval resentments to felines. This time of year appears to offer an excuse for such people to exercise their sadism.
Even without the weirdos lurking about, Halloween is a scary time for cats and dogs - and every year, the "missing pet" posters tend to pop up everywhere. That's because firecrackers can panic them, as can the host of strangers - strangely dressed, no less - who come wandering through the neighbourhood and knocking on doors.
We understand what that's about. but Rover and Tabby do not. And their immediate response can leave them frightened, lost, and alone, quite possibly far from home by the time they regain their senses.
The least you can do is ensure that their ID tags are up to date, so if they are located by a friendly neighbour - or by the local pound - they can be helped back to home and hearth.
Frightened dogs might also take it upon themselves to protect the household, and go into attack mode - so keep them away from the door while the trick-or-treaters make their rounds.
Be mindful that Halloween brings with it all manner of items that can be dangerous to pets: candies that can range from unhealthy to deadly, wrappers and costumes that can cause choking or intestinal blockages if eaten, and spent fireworks and other celebratory debris left behind in parks and along walkways.
Keep your four-footed friends relaxed - and maybe a bit tired. Dogs have a way of handling otherwise provocative surroundings a little better after a long, brisk walk.