Trick-or-Treating is such a fun family event, but one factor that can often be overlooked is the pet safety concerns surrounding Halloween candy.
Halloween candy might be tasty to us, but even a piece of Halloween candy can be toxic to our furry friends. Be aware of what treats pose the greatest issues, come up with a plan to keep your stash from the pets and learn the signs and symptoms if you think your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t.
Trick-Or-Treat: Three Halloween candies that aren’t so sweet for your pet
Chocolate is the number one pet toxicity claim during this “howliday” season. Trupanion historically has received over 5,056 claims for chocolate ingestion over the years. That is a lot of chocolate consumption for our four-legged friends. If you feel your pet has possibly consumed chocolate, there are some key symptoms you can be on the look-out for. “Symptoms can range from stomach issues to vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and restlessness/hyperactivity,” states Trupanion On-Site Veterinary Technician Aubrey Halvorsen.
It could be perceived that chocolate or sweet candies are the only potential threat this season. Many people handing out candy today, opt to hand out a healthier option to trick-or-treaters. Although something like raisins is healthy for us, it can be deadly to our furry companions. “Similar to chocolate, symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and seizures. All of these symptoms are very serious and even if your pet ingests a small amount you should call your vet immediately,” cites Halvorsen. Over the years we have seen a spike in raisin ingestion, resulting in 510 claims alone for 2018 so far.
Although Xylitol is not a Halloween candy, the ingredient is in numerous treats in much of the candy in your trick-or-treat bag (or purse)… Xylitol can be found in items such as sugar-free gum, mints, and lozenges. If you feel your pet may have ingested Xylitol, please seek veterinary care immediately. “Dogs can become hypoglycemic, have vomiting, weakness, and can even collapse,” observes Halvorsen.
So what is tricky about Xylitol is people automatically don’t think of it connected to their Halloween candy. Some might perceive leaving a mint on the counter not to be a threat because it is not chocolate.
In contrast, Trupanion has seen a gradual increase in claims for Xylitol ingestion resulting in 1,149 historically and over 225 claims in 2018 alone. That puts our four-legged friends in a very tricky situation.
When you are trick-or-treating this season, please be careful in regards to where you place and keep your Halloween candy. Your pet might be in a mischievous mood, and it just takes one bump to knock over a jack-o-lantern filled with candy. One way to distract a curious pet is to keep some of their favorite (and vet approved) treats handy to make sure they feel a part of the festivities.
If you have a new puppy or kitten in the household, make sure to pet-proof, so you can avoid them getting in any hair-raising situations.
Most importantly, if you have any concerns, especially in regards to Halloween candy ingestion, please seek veterinary care immediately. We hope you have a safe and fun-filled Halloween with your furry companion!