Halloween safety is a big issue with dogs. Almost all dogs are inquisitive, and they seem to love getting into things that they shouldn’t. This is especially true of food. My biggest Halloween safety tip for dogs is this. Keep them away from the candy. Almost all Halloween candy is highly toxic to dogs.
Halloween Safety – Candy is a Killer
That’s no exaggeration, so keep it away from your dog at all costs. Various ingredients in most Halloween candy are highly toxic to dogs, especially if they consume a large amount of it. And if you have dogs you know that once they go for something, they go all the way. Here are some of the common ingredients in candy – both Halloween and otherwise – that can spell trouble for your pooch.
When you think of Halloween safety for dogs, think chocolate. As in, keep chocolate away from them. Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it becomes.
The two main substances in chocolate that are harmful to your pooch are caffeine and theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated these substances become. In severe cases where the dog has ingested high amounts of dark chocolate, it can be deadly. If you suspect your dog ingested any amount of chocolate, take it to the vet right away. Don’t wait. You may not see signs for 6 to 12 hours, but the chocolate is affecting your dog’s health.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning
- Increased body temperature
- Increased reflex responses
- Muscle rigidity
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Cardiac failure (in high rates of ingestion)
- Weakness (in high rates of ingestion)
- Coma (in high rates of ingestion)
Chocolate is nothing to play around with, so always keep it away from your dog, and if it gets into any chocolate get to the vet.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free candies and gums. Although you’re less likely to encounter this ingredient in Halloween candy, it’s still a distinct possibility. While xylitol is harmless to people, ingestion of it by non-primates triggers a massive release of insulin into the bloodstream, resulting in extreme hypoglycemia in as little as 10 minutes.
In even small amounts, xylitol can be deadly, so if you even suspect that your dog ate anything with xylitol in it, get it to the vet right away. It is a life-threatening emergency.
Symptoms of Xylitol Poisoning
- Difficulty walking or standing – like a drunken person
- Liver failure
Although not as common as some ingredients, raisins can be found in some candy. These are another dangerous ingredient on my Halloween safety list, because they can cause kidney failure in acute cases. While cats may be able to live for long periods of time during kidney failure, for dogs, it’s a fast decline to death. It’s important to note, that while they aren’t found in candy, grapes are equally toxic to dogs. After all raisins are just dehydrated grapes.
Symptoms of Raisin Poisoning
- Polydypsia (excessive thirst)
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
- Abdominal Pain
- Lack of urine due to kidney shutdown
Halloween Safety for Dogs – No Trick or Treating!
Halloween safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to your fuzzy buddy. Dogs will do any and everything they can to get into your candy if you leave it in an easily accessible area. Chocolate, xylitol, and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause death in severe cases, so be sure you keep your candy in a high cabinet, well away from your pooch and his nosy maw. That’s the best way to practice Halloween safety when it comes to candy.
Have you ever dealt with an emergency related to your dogs getting into the Halloween candy? How did you handle it?