Oct 25 2017

5 Halloween Dangers for Pets

Black Labrador sitting next to a pumpkin

With Halloween right around the corner, parents are going over last minute details with their little ones to make sure they have both a safe and fun trick or treat experience. However, it’s important to remember that our furry friends are also at an increased risk to be exposed to some potential dangers. Here are 5 Halloween horrors to watch out for:

Raisins: Several Halloween treats contain raisins which, although tasty to humans, contain an unknown substance toxic to dogs that can lead to severe kidney damage and lack of urine production. Signs to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and abdominal discomfort. Be sure to keep a close eye especially on treats containing raisins.

Sugar-free Candy: Although good intentioned, sugarless candy and gum contains xylitol, a sugar-alcohol based chemical used as an artificial sweetener and also highly toxic to pets causing a rapid decrease in blood sugar. Look for signs of weakness, staggering or vomiting.

Chocolate: Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine which can wreak havoc on a pet’s digestive system. Because not all chocolate is created equal, the severity of symptoms depends on the type and amount of chocolate consumed. Smaller dogs are more likely to experience severe reactions to chocolate. Signs to watch for include severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and irregular heartbeat.

Candy wrappers: It is common to find foil wrappers on Halloween candy and aside from being a pain to open, foil candy wrappers can be very harmful when ingested. Swallowing foil or cellophane can cause bowel blockage and if severe enough, may require surgical intervention. Signs to look for include vomiting, decreased appetite and lethargy.

Trick or Treaters: Not all pets are created equal. While it’s true that some may enjoy greeting trick or treaters at the door, the fact is that some pets may experience stress from the constant visitors and sounds. This stress can cause unexpected aggression towards strangers in costumes and could also cause your pet to get spooked and run away. It is generally a good idea to keep pets away from the door. It’s also a good idea to make sure all pets have proper identification tags with updated information.

Having your local veterinary emergency clinic phone number and address and poison control helpline on hand can save crucial time in case of an emergency.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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