Are Halloween treats safe for my pet?

Halloween is an exciting time for children, adults and pets alike! Kids come home all dressed up with bags overflowing with candy, and oftentimes they want nothing more than to share it all with their best friend, the dog. However, Halloween candy can make your pet very sick. Listed below are a few common treats to keep away from your furry friends!

  • Chocolate! Most pet owners are already aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. It contains caffeine and theobromine, which dogs are very sensitive to. If your pet ingested chocolate, it is important to look out for things like gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea), increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, muscle rigidity and seizures.
  • Sugary treats! Another item to avoid is any treat with high amounts of sugar, like candy corn or caramels. These rich, sugary treats can cause pancreatitis, which can be very painful for our pets. Pancreatitis often presents as vomiting and diarrhea, and it can take a couple of days for our pets to start showing symptoms.
  • Raisins! Sometimes, to our child’s disappointment, they are given small boxes of raisins when trick or treating. Raisins, like grapes, are very poisonous to dogs.Even the smallest amount can be toxic and will require veterinary care. Raisins cause kidney failure and severe abdominal pain in our pets. If your pet has ingested raisins or grapes, please call the Pet Poison Hotline or your veterinary clinic immediately.
  • Sugar-Free Candies! These can also be dangerous if the contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This chemical can cause decreased blood pressure and seizures in dogs and should be kept out of their reach.

Generally, the safest option is to ensure your children’s Halloween treats are kept in a safe space, where the pets cannot get to them! Let’s try and keep everyone safe this Halloween, furry friends included!

Kristen Cotter, CCR