The Spooky Dangers of Halloween
The time has come for dressing up our pets in their Halloween best. Whether you plan to take your pet trick-or-treating, to a Halloween parade, or just dress them up and show them off, there are some dangers to watch out for.
Halloween candy is just as delicious and irresistible to your pet as it is to you. All of that chocolate, peanut butter and nugget-goodness is hard to resist, even for the most well-trained pet! Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but you may not know just how serious it can be. A small amount of chocolate may just cause some mild stomach upset, but if your dog eats a larger amount or if he eats dark chocolate, the signs may progress to heart disturbances, neurologic signs or even death. The toxic dose of chocolate depends on the size of the dog, as well as the type of chocolate eaten. If you know that your dog has eaten some chocolate, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment for a toxic level of chocolate typically involves induction of vomiting, activated charcoal, IV fluids and close monitoring in the hospital.
Xylitol is a sweetener alternative used in many sugarless gums and other candies. While a great option for people trying to limit sugar intake, xylitol is toxic to dogs. The effects of xylitol ingestion include dangerously low blood sugar and severe liver damage. These effects can lead to death if severe. Even very small amounts of xylitol can cause these problems, which is why it is important to check the ingredients of any candy or gum that your dog may have ingested. If your pet ingests xylitol, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment typically involves induction of vomiting, IV fluids and blood sugar and liver enzyme monitoring for 2-3 days.
Macadamia nuts are a less commonly known source of toxicity that may be around on Halloween. Within the first 12 hours after ingestion, signs of toxicity may develop, including vomiting, neurologic signs and liver damage.
In addition to edible dangers, also consider the risk of obstruction from lollipop sticks, fake cobweb strings or other decorations that your pet may eat. If you notice that your pet has eaten something that he shouldn’t, please contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Control Hotline (888-232-8870) as soon as possible. We hope you have a fun and safe Halloween! Stop by to see our Halloween decorations and costumes!