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Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

Halloween Candy—A Trick-Or-Treat Warning for Your Pet

By: Alyssa Little

Trick-or-Treating is a fun family pasttime—but one factor that can often be overlooked, is pet safety surrounding Halloween candy. Halloween candy might be tasty to us humans, but even just one piece of Halloween candy can be toxic to our furry friends. Being aware of what treats pose the greatest issues, keeping your stash from pets, and learning the signs and symptoms if you think your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t, can be the difference between a memorable Halloween and an infamous one.

A bowl of pumpkin candies is held above a dog that is looking at the bowl

Three Halloween candies that aren’t so sweet for your pet


Chocolate is the number one pet toxicity claim during this ‘howliday’ season. Trupanion 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 think your pet has possibly consumed chocolate, there are some key symptoms you can be on the look-out for. Symptoms can include:

  • Stomach issues
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness/hyperactivity

If you think your pet has ingested chocolate, contact your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment.


One might think that chocolate—or sweet candies—are the only potential threats this spooky season. But that isn’t the case. Instead of candy, some people opt to hand out a healthier option to trick-or-treaters—raisins. Although something like raisins are healthy for humans, it can be deadly to our furry companions. “Similar to chocolate, symptoms of raisin ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and seizures. All of these symptoms are very serious and even if your pet ingests a small quantity, you should call your veterinarian immediately,” cites Trupanion On-Site Veterinary Technician, Aubrey Halvorsen.

Over the years we have seen a spike in raisin ingestion—there were 510 claims in 2018 alone!


Although Xylitol is not a Halloween candy, per se, the ingredient can be found in numerous treats in your trick-or-treat bag. Xylitol is a common ingredient in foods 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,” states Halvorsen.

So what is tricky about Xylitol is that people don’t automatically think of it as connected to Halloween candy. Some might perceive leaving a mint on the counter not to be a threat because it is not chocolate—but that isn’t the case.

Trupanion has seen a gradual increase in claims for Xylitol ingestion resulting in over 1,149 claims. That puts our four-legged friends in a very tricky situation!

Trick-Or-Treating Pet Safety

When you are trick-or-treating this season, please be careful in regards to where you store your Halloween candy. Your pet might be in a mischievous mood and it takes just 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 veterinarian 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!

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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