Let’s face it. As cool as the costumes can be, Halloween is all about the candy. And, with a dog in the house, it can also be all about keeping their paws off of the Halloween candy bounty.
In some cases if your dog eats candy, it can cause something as simple as upset stomach, however, in other cases, it can be a near death experience. Here’s a rundown of the three biggest Halloween candy dangers to dogs:
Chocolate is toxic because it contains theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator and a smooth muscle relaxant for humans. Theobromine, which is usually found in dark chocolate or cacao beans, can be poisonous to dogs.
The signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, a racing heart rate, muscle spasms and occasionally seizures. In older dogs or dogs that are ill, sudden death from cardiac arrest may occur when chocolate is ingested.
Products that may contain xylitol include sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash and toothpaste. Even small amounts of xylitol, such as one piece of chewing gum, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.
This is a fine white powder that looks and tastes similar to sugar. While it is safe for people to ingest, it’s very toxic to dogs. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol, and in nature it is found in berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, trees, other hardwood trees and fruits.
Even in small quantities, grapes and prunes can be toxic to dogs. Dogs that have ingested large amounts of grapes and raisins have had acute kidney failure.
With kidney failure, a pet’s ability to produce urine decreases, limiting the ability to filter toxins out of his system. Unfortunately, the reason for kidney failure and the amount of grapes or raisins necessary to be toxic to pets is unknown, so all cases of ingestion have the potential to be grave. Depending on the size of the dog, as few as four grapes or chocolate-covered raisins can have an adverse effect on your fuzzy friend.
Before spreading out the trick-or-treat candy on the floor and sorting out your favorites, be sure to consider whether or not your dog will be around to partake in the festivities.
Ami Moore started the Chicago Dog Coach Dog Training Company to reeducate the owner, rehabilitate the dog and rejuvenate the relationship between the loving dog owner and their dog. Ami created the famous Guerrilla Group Obedience classes and the ‘Fido Fat Camp’ concept so that loving pet owners could holistically increase their dog’s health and wellness with exercise, natural food and psychological rehabilitation techniques. Ami offered one of the first dog yoga or Doga classes in the city of Chicago.