The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Halloween Dangers to Dogs & Cats

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween Dangers to Dogs & Cats

During the week of Halloween, calls to the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent, making it the call center’s busiest time of year.   “Each year we experience a sharp increase in calls around Halloween, especially during the weekends surrounding the holiday,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline.

“Most often, these calls involve pets accidentally ingesting Halloween candy or décor. Chocolate is one of the most problematic candies as dogs and cats cannot metabolize it as well as people. Thus, it places them at risk for poisoning.”

The four most common food-related Halloween hazards for pets are chocolate, candy overindulgence, raisins and candy wrappers.

Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Of all candy, chocolate is one of the most toxic to pets. Over the past year, more than 1,100 calls to Pet Poison Helpline involved exposure to chocolate and 98 percent of them involved dogs. Many dogs are inherently attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, making it a significant threat. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. The chemicals in chocolate that are dangerous to pets, methylxanthines, are similar to caffeine and more heavily concentrated in the darker varieties. In fact, a 50-pound dog can be sickened by ingesting only one ounce of Baker’s chocolate! On the other hand, it may take up to eight ounces, (half a pound) of milk chocolate to cause poisoning in that same sized dog. White chocolate contains very low amounts of methylxanthine and rarely causes poisoning. To avoid issues, keep Halloween candy well out of the reach of pets at all times. 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.

To read more on this story, click here: Halloween Dangers to Dogs & Cats

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