Don’t Let This Halloween Be a Scare For You and Your Pets

As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. I can remember planning our homemade costumes for weeks, and my neighborhood friends and I would go to everyone’s house in the neighborhood - alone!

Sara Forsberg · October 27, 2020

Don’t Let This Halloween Be a
Scare For You and Your Pets

As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. I can remember planning our homemade costumes for weeks, and my neighborhood friends and I would go to everyone’s house in the neighborhood - alone! My parents never went with us, and they never worried about us being out. After we collected our haul from the neighborhood, we would head back home to sort and trade our loot. Halloween obviously has lots of good memories for me, but Halloween for our pets isn’t quite as much fun.

The obvious reason that we go trick-or-treating is for CANDY and lots of it. Cats usually have no interest in candy, but our dogs can consume large amounts quickly, which can make them very sick. Candy ingestion can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, and it can be severe enough to lead to an emergency vet visit. So, what do you do if your dog eats Halloween candy?

Chocolate Candy

The first thing to do is call your vet as soon as you’ve realized that your dog has ingested chocolate. They will have the resources to take into consideration the amount and type of chocolate, plus the size and age of your dog. A larger, younger dog may be less affected than a smaller, older dog that eats the exact same amount and type of chocolate. Your vet will often ask if your dog has already vomited up the chocolate because they often throw it up on their own.

What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity?

  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Too much energy
  • Extreme thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

The sooner the treatment, the faster they will improve. Chocolate is full of stimulants that can affect your dog for up to 4 days.

What about other non-chocolate candy?

The most dangerous candy other than chocolate that your dog can eat contains artificial sweeteners or raisins.

The artificial sweetener, xylitol, is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Sugar-free gum and other “low calorie” foods frequently contain xylitol. Ingestion of xylitol can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, and/or liver failure.

When it comes to raisins, the toxic amount is unknown, and it doesn’t affect all dogs the same. Based on known cases of raisin toxicity in dogs, even one or a few can cause acute kidney failure, which can be fatal. Kidney failure is not seen in all dogs that consume them, but scientists do not know why some dogs are affected excessively while others are not. Regardless, raisins (chocolate covered raisins are a double whammy!) are bad for any dog to consume, and you don’t know how your dog will react. If these are ingested by your pet, contact a veterinarian or animal poison control immediately.

Halloween and candy go hand in hand, but no one wants to end up at the emergency animal hospital! Make sure to watch your dog around the candy, and let your kids know how it can make their furry friend very sick. Some kids love to share and don’t always understand how dangerous it is! Also always make sure that your Halloween candy is put away where your dog cannot reach and get into. It’s not so much that dogs have a sweet tooth, it’s more that they will eat anything and everything they see. And never hesitate to contact your vet, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Some numbers to keep handy: Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Raw Food Tip:

“Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. It only takes 45 or more milligrams of theobromine (per pound of your dog’s weight) to reach a potentially lethal dose.”

- Robert Mueller, Sr.
 

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Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg has been part of the BARF team since 2019. She has been passionate about animals since a small child growing up with a Siberian Husky and 3 cats, and as an adult having a Labrador Retriever that suffered from a lot of allergy problems. She now has an indoor/ outdoor farm cat rescue named Callie, and a new addition in another Lab named Jax. She has 7 children that keep her busy in most of her spare time; but enjoys anything on or near the water, spending time with friends and family, music, reading and cooking.

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!

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