Candy: The Truly Frightening Risk to Halloween Pet Safety

animal hospital pet safetyHalloween is great for kids of all ages, but there are many aspects that also pose a threat to our pets. Costumes and decorations notwithstanding, the endless variety of candy and treats is actually a big concern when it comes to Halloween pet safety. In fact, this is the cause of most pet emergencies this time of year. Depending on the type and quantity consumed, candy can really land your pet in a cauldron of hot water.

The Most Dangerous

While it’s safe to assume that all Halloween candy is relatively bad for pets, there are some foods that are worse than others. For example, chocolate candy is one of the worst (and most common) offenders around. Chocolate poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness, and even heart failure.

In addition, dark chocolate has higher concentrations of theobromine and caffeine, the chemicals responsible for creating such dangerous side effects in pets. All types of chocolate should be stored securely and must never be given to animals.

Sugar, Sugar

Seasonal treats, such as candy corn and other high-sugar foods, can negatively affect a pet’s gastrointestinal system. Gas, bloating, and diarrhea can all result. Although not always as severe as chocolate poisoning, sugary candy is still a no-no when it comes to Halloween pet safety.

Hard, bite-sized candy is another risk. These treats are known to cause choking and, when broken into small bits, can actually be inhaled into the windpipe.

Avoid the Alternative

Xylitol is a sugar substitute with disastrous side effects. Mostly found in sugar-free gum, xylitol causes a severe drop in blood sugar. Pets poisoned by xylitol can experience mobility issues, seizures, and can suffer liver damage/failure.  

Wrapped in Danger

While Halloween candy is an obvious threat to pet health and safety, the wrappers can actually be just as dangerous. Cellophane, plastic, and aluminum wrappers can cause choking or GI obstructions that require surgery.

Halloween Pet Safety and Proper Storage

Whether you go all out for trick-or-treaters or you purchase just a bag or two, Halloween pet safety should remain a top priority. Storing your treats properly is one of the best ways to protect your pet against poisoning and other veterinary emergencies.

As always, we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns. From the team at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center, we wish you and your family a Happy Halloween!