Halloween is here and that means cute costumes, Trick-or-Treaters, and candy! If you’re like us, you have treats to spare. Not only for young visitors, but also to satisfy your own sweet tooth. When you have any human food yummies in a house with dogs you need to be extra careful to keep Spot out of your goodie bag!

Chocolate is a huge no-no!

Candies, particularly chocolate, is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning. Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and theobromine . It’s the theobromine in chocolate that is toxic to dogs. Theobromine will increase urination, and affect the central nervous system and heart muscle. The high fat content in chocolate can cause immediate effects like vomiting or diarrhea. If you think your pet may have ingested chocolate, symptoms to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures. If you suspect chocolate poisoning, rush your dog to your vet.

Other candy treats

Unfortunately dogs aren’t picky when it comes to eating sweet treats and they can gorge themselves on food meant for humans. Eating large amounts of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis in your dog. Potentially fatal, pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and can be extrememly painful. It may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy. Symptoms can include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and potentially, kidney failure or organ damage.

Candy wrappers

Usually when your dog eats your candy, he don’t bother to remove the wrappers. Eating foil and cellophane wrappers, even small ones, can cause very dangerous bowel obstructions, which if severe, can require surgical intervention to correct. Be on the lookout for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy. Your vet may need X-rays to diagnose this problem.

While we may love all the sweet goodies we treat ourselves to at Halloween, we need to remember that our dogs can’t resist them either. We’ve got to be extra careful to keep our dog safe from their own appetite’s this time of year, so that they’ll get to enjoy fun visitors for years to come.

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