Halloween is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. There’s the pumpkin carving, the pet halloween costumes (and contests!) and the main event – trick or treating the evening away. Some of us even like to bring our (very social) pets along.

But, of course, one hazard that Halloween poses for pets is that of Halloween candy. Most of us know that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, but what else do we need to be aware of when it comes to fright night, candy, and our pets? Highway Veterinary Hospital is ready to explore this topic and provide you some tips to keep your pets safe.

Candy No No’s

Dogs are more susceptible to Halloween treat dangers than cats or other animals. This is because cats are naturally pickier eaters than dogs. Any dog and cat owner can attest to this! Cats are an adorable version of a food snob, while dogs can be likened to a garbage disposal – eating everything and anything in their path. With so many treats around at this time of year, it’s important to keep a close eye on what all our pets are eating.

There are a few things you need to be aware of when it comes to halloween candy safety for pets. For starters, make sure you’re keeping those candy bags, bowls, and pillow cases out of reach of your pets. Having them gorge on candy can spell major trouble, such as:

Sugar-free candy and gum – a sugar substitute called xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Xylitol causes insulin release and can result in low blood sugar in animals. Even a small amount can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, or even death.  The first signs are usually vomiting and lethargy, so keep a close watch.

Chocolate – chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and baking chocolate contain more theobromine than milk chocolate, but if your tiny dog eats a large amount, it can still be deadly. Chocolate toxicity is most common in dogs, but can also affect cats and other pets.

Milk-based candies and treats – caramels and ice cream and other milk products can cause GI upset and diarrhea in pets.

Candy wrappers – it may seem safe to toss your candy wrappers in the bedroom trash can, but pets are still attracted to the smells even though they’re empty. Wrappers can cause intestinal blockages and GI irritation, some of which may result in surgery to remove them.

Halloween Candy Safety for Pets

If you suspect your pet has gotten into the candy stash, don’t wait – see a veterinarian immediately. Some of these toxins act fast, and so should you.

In addition to halloween candy safety for pets, be careful with other holiday foods that can also be toxic to pets. Alcohol, raisins, macadamia nuts, and garlic and onions can all cause problems for our pets. If you have questions about safety or think your pet has gotten into one of these foods, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’re here to help!