Nobody wants to be left out of Halloween, especially Norton, our four-legged friend with a Chewbacca costume at the ready. Norton will be staying home to avoid the commotion but still wants a treat for being a good boy.

Tootsie Rolls and caramel apples are off the list, of course, but here are some acceptable goodies that can keep him happy even though they won’t be in any kid’s Halloween bag!

Healthy treats for our pets can start with vegetables, and the assortment is wide. Green beans, carrots, squash and even a cooked sweet potato can be a tasty treat. Greens such as lettuce and spinach aren’t always as attractive to dogs, but they are safe and some find them delicious!

Unbuttered, unsalted popcorn is OK if cooked with a minimal amount of oil or air-popped. Fruits are fair game as well with melons, strawberries, blueberries and especially bananas being attractive to pets. Apples and pears (skip the seeds) are also a good bet.

Just as important are those items that should not be a part of your pet’s diet. Grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, tomatoes, most nuts and any fruits with pits should be avoided.

Keep in mind that any of these foods — including commercial treats — should be less than 10 percent of your pet’s diet. And, yes, some of them contain sugar and calories, but they are much less calorie-dense than many treats. So skip the neighborhood trick or treating, but don’t forget Norton. A little piece of steamed pumpkin is a Halloween treat he deserves.

Questions? Send them to Dr. Sandeman, Home & Garden, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801. Or, email to papertrained@mchsi.com. Dr. Sandeman cannot answer letters or email personally, but questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

Outbrain