Halloween can be a night filled with treats, but keeping your pet safe doesn’t have to be tricky. If you keep in mind that the candy bowl is solely for trick-or-treaters and not for your furry pal, you can both have a fun, safe October 31. When celebrating the spookiest holiday of the year, keep the following treats away from your pet.
#1: Sugar-free candy
In many sugar-free candies and gum, xylitol replaces sugar as a sweetener. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and can cause a severe drop in their blood sugar when ingested. Higher doses of xylitol can lead to liver failure. If your dog eats sugar-free candy or gum, they may show the following hypoglycemia signs within an hour:
- Lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing
- Weakness or lethargy
Although chocolate is the most widely known edible toxin for pets, it’s still one of the most commonly ingested. Chocolate can vary in toxicity depending on the content of a caffeine-like compound called theobromine. White chocolate contains little theobromine, while dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate has much higher levels. Common chocolate toxicity signs include:
- Increased thirst
- Excessive urination
- A racing heart rate
In severe cases, signs can include muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure.
#3: Candy bags and wrappers
Candy bags and wrappers can be just as dangerous to your pet as the treats they contain. Plastic and foil can be a choking hazard or lead to a gastrointestinal obstruction, so ensure all wrappers are thrown away in a securely locking trash can.
Ingesting small boxes of raisins can be fatal for your pet, as can eating the raisins found in snack bags of trail mix. The toxicity mechanism is not fully understood; neither are the reasons why some pets are prone to developing kidney failure and others aren’t. Err on the side of caution by keeping all raisins out of your pet’s reach. The most common early sign of raisin toxicity is vomiting, generally seen within 24 hours following ingestion.
If your four-legged friend sneaks into your candy stash this Halloween, contact our team for help.