Halloween is a terrific day to have lots of fun for children and adults alike. However it is not one of the holidays that your pet should be celebrating. Halloween can be a very scary time of year for many pets because they have strangers coming to the door that look different to them. They also have some other dangers that can present in many forms and can be hazardous, and sometimes deadly, to dogs. Candy in the form of chocolate is one of the top issues around the holidays which start with Halloween and extend all the way through the New Year when many people have lots of goodies in the homes.
For chocolate, depending on the amount ingested and the type of chocolate, can be deadly. The more pure the form of chocolate and the darker, the more deadly it is. You may see your dog exhibit signs to alert you such as vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, excitation, and perhaps an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Sometimes these can even result in seizures with larger amounts eaten. Your dog may also present with pancreatitis which may include a decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and possibly organ damage.
Many candies and gums are dangerous because they can contain an ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol has been showing up in many more foods over the course of the last several years. Xylitol can be highly toxic to most pets and can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar which can then result in liver damage. There’s also the risk of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
There are other candies that are also dangerous for dogs such as chocolate covered raisins – which are healthy for humans, but can be extremely poisonous to dogs. Large amounts of grapes and raisins can result in renal failure and can be highly toxic. Things like wrappers from candy can be an issue also because your dog will not stop to remove a wrapper before consuming what is inside it. Wrappers, foils, and cellophane can result in bowel irritation and obstruction.
Many younger trick-or-treaters tend to carry glow sticks with them for safety. This tends to be an issue for our curious four-legged friends. Glow sticks and certain types of jewelry (that glow in the dark) can be bitten or chewed which can result in the content leaking out everywhere and causing mouth pain and irritation. Although the ingredients that causes them to glow are not generally life-threatening, the foaming, drooling and vomiting that follows can be very alarming to most dog owners. If this should happen to your dog, it’s best to offer a bland snack to dilute the ingestion and give him or her a bath immediately if they have it on their fur to prevent them from further ingesting more of the material by licking it off.
Candles should be used with care around dogs since wagging tails and sniffing lows noses can come into contact with the flames and result in burns and injury. And, flashlights and battery-powered candles and decorations contain small disc shaped batteries. These can be chewed and swallowed, resulting in burns and corrosive injuries to the mouth esophagus and stomach. Please be careful with these types of items around your dog and be sure to keep them out of his reach.
If you are one of those people that enjoys dressing your dog up to join in on the Halloween fun, proceed with caution! Many costumes can result in your dog overheating, impairing his vision (with the costume), and even causing difficulty in breathing – expecially if it covers the face or restricts the dogs neck or chest. Be aware that some hair dyes that you may decide to apply to your pets fur can be harmful even when labeled non-toxic – so be sure if your dog is going to wear a costume, to make sure it’s safe.
My Final Thoughts
Enjoy Halloween, but remember to keep your pets safe. If you think that your dog has ingested something poisonous or harmful, it’s always easier and more cost effective in the long run, and safer for your dog, to be treated earlier rather than waiting for severe signs to occur. The pet poison helpline is a very cost-effective animal poison control center (located in North America) and they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The helpline number is 800–213–6680. There is also an iPhone application that you can download to your phone. Be aware there is a $49 per case consultation fee. (Which in my opinion is well worth the fee if you suspect that your dog has ingested something poisonous or harmful!)
I would love to hear your comments, feedback, stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us/