When October arrives, we know that it's a season of tasty fall treats of all kinds -- especially as we get closer to Halloween! Just think about it: Kids, costumes and candy!!! What could be better? In fact, Halloween is the biggest candy-eating-day of the year for many of us! So, we could make this article super short and simply say “Don’t give any of that stuff to your pets!” But what fun would that be? It also wouldn't truly give you the full story about why these treats can be so dangerous for your pets.
So, here are few Halloween tips to help keep your pets healthy and safe:
- Chocolate: You’ve heard this all before but it bears repeating. Chocolate is toxic for your pet. It has this stuff called theobromine in it; and it can make your pet very sick...and the darker it is, the more toxic it is. So, no matter how cute they are when begging, don’t give chocolate to your pet. (Consider this your perfect excuse to keep it all for yourself.)
- Xylitol: Xylitol is actually more toxic to your pet than chocolate. What is Xylitol you ask? It is a natural sugar substitute that is showing up in more and more candies. So, as with chocolate…keep the rest of your candy to yourself too. Your pet will thank you!
- Grapes & Raisins: More and more folks are becoming health conscious and are giving out things like grapes and raisins to trick-or-treaters. If you’re secretly planning to dispose of them by giving them to your pet, please don’t!! Grapes and raisins can lead to acute kidney failure in our pets.
- Candy Wrappers: If you have a particularly curious or greedy pet, make sure you stash your candy out of your pet’s reach. They can sniff out Halloween candy from a mile away. And they’re not going to stop and read the wrapper to see if what’s inside is toxic. They’re going to eat your candy, wrapper and all. Those wrappers can cause irritation or even worse, a blockage. At best they could end up with nausea and diarrhea.
- Drop Zone: OK, so you’ve been really good and haven’t shared any of your Halloween treats with your pet. So this one is for moms and dads. Guess what, your kids drop stuff. Many of us who have dogs know that when food items get dropped you could lose a hand trying to retrieve it before your dog gets it. The word of caution here is to keep on the lookout for treats that may have been dropped on floor or left lying around. Sooner or later your pet will find it and we really don’t want that to happen.
A few bonus tips:
- If you decide to take your pet out trick-or-treating, please use a leash and keep your pet on that leash and close at hand. We also recommend putting something reflective on your pet. There’s likely to be lots of traffic and you want to make sure your pet is seen.
- Remember what we said about watching out for dropped treats? Keep an eye out for dropped treats if you take your pet out trick-or-treating. Kids drop stuff outside too!!
- If your pet charges the door every time someone knocks or rings the door bell, please consider keeping your pet in another area of your home. This will reduce the chance that your pet may frighten one of your trick-or-treaters or go bounding out the door into the night. If you decide to take your chances, please make sure your pet has an identification tag and has been microchipped. We want your pet to be safely returned to you.
So, we’ll end this article the same way we started. It’s Halloween!!! Kids, costumes and candy!!! But, now that you know the health risks to your pets, you know that sharing your treats with your pets could make them very sick or even endanger their lives. We all want our beloved pets to be with us for a very long time -- so keep them safe by keeping your treats reserved for yourself and your human friends and family this season!