While celebrating Halloween, it is important for pet owners to be aware of the necessary safety measures that need to be taken to keep their furbabies safe. Pet safety while trick or treating isn’t as tricky as it may sound. However, it is important to be extra cautious this time of the year to ensure that our pups stay healthy and content throughout the entire month, especially during the week of Halloween.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the week of Halloween is one of the busiest times throughout the entire year for veterinarians. During this week, vet emergency calls increase by as much as 12%. While the reason for the calls varies, the most common emergencies have to do with the ingestion of treats hazardous to pets, and more specifically to dogs.
Let’s be real! We all know how hard it can be to say no to those innocent puppy eyes. And yes, human treats look yummy even to our fur babies. Nonetheless, human treats are a big no-no for our dogs. Not only can it be hazardous for animals to ingest large amounts of candy, but it can also be fatal. Considerable amounts of high-fat and sugary candy can lead to a very painful inflammation called pancreatitis. Symptoms of pancreatitis include but are not limited to, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
While you should avoid feeding your dog any type of candy, you must pay extra attention to the ingredients listed below.
Cholate is one of the most toxic candies for a dog to ingest due to its significant ingredients. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an alkaloid found in the cacao bean, and methylxanthine, which is similar to caffeine. The higher the concentration of cacao, the higher the concentration of these ingredients, meaning the more toxic the chocolate. Dogs (and cats) are unable to metabolize such ingredients, and the ingestion of chocolate can lead to serious complications like elevated heart rate, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and in some cases, even seizures.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs as they contain tartaric acids causing symptoms such as excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, kidney damage/failure.
While this ingredient is not as commonly eaten as the ones above, it is often used in baked goods and trail mixes. Macadamia nuts are highly toxic for dogs, and ingestion of the nut is commonly characterized by weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperthermia.
Lollipops are hazardous to our fur babies for several reasons. Not only do they contain large amounts of sugar, but they can also be a choking hazard as they may block the intestinal tract and windpipe, which can potentially prevent your dog’s ability to breathe.
Now, we all know this last one isn’t an ingredient, but we also know that candy wrappers are a big part of Halloween. When and if our fur babies get a hold of human treats, they don’t necessarily know how to remove the wrappers. Paper, cellophane, and foil wrappers can cause severe bowel blockage, sometimes resulting in the need for surgical intervention. If you suspect that your pet has ingested candy with a wrapper, consult with your veterinarian immediately.
Although it can be easy to get lost in the holiday fun, it is important to take precautions to keep our dogs safe during Halloween. Be extra aware of your surroundings and simply try not to have any hazardous foods around your animal. Keep the phone number of your veterinarian within close reach and ensure the correct actions are taken in cases of emergency.