Fall Treats that are good for DogsOctober 4, 2023
As we celebrate Halloween, it’s crucial that we remember our furry friends and how this fun-filled holiday can pose certain risks to them. At TLC Pet Hospital, we’re committed to ensuring your pets stay safe and healthy during this exciting time.
Did you know that during Halloween week, veterinarians at the Pet Poison Helpline report a 12% increase in calls? This makes it one of the busiest times for pet emergencies. According to Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, and assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline, the sharp increase in calls is primarily due to pets accidentally consuming Halloween candy or decorations.
Beware of Chocolate Dangers
Chocolate is a significant hazard, particularly for dogs and cats. In the last year alone, over 1,100 calls to the Pet Poison Helpline involved chocolate exposure, with dogs making up 98% of those cases. Darker and bitter chocolates are more toxic to pets as they contain higher concentrations of methylxanthines, similar to caffeine.
Extreme caution should be taken with Baker’s chocolate, as just an ounce could sicken a 50-pound dog. However, it would take half a pound of milk chocolate to have the same effect. White chocolate is less dangerous, containing minimal amounts of methylxanthines.
If your pet ingests chocolate, look out for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, elevated heart rate, and in extreme cases, seizures.
The Risk of Candy Overindulgence
Pets often find human treats irresistible, and Halloween candy is no exception. Overconsumption of sugary, high-fat candies can lead to pancreatitis, an incredibly painful inflammation of the pancreas that might not become evident until two to four days after ingestion. Symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, kidney failure or organ damage.
The Hidden Danger in Healthy Halloween Treats
While some households opt for healthier alternatives such as mini-boxes of raisins, these seemingly harmless snacks are extremely toxic to dogs and potentially cats. Even small amounts can cause kidney failure. Any ingestion of raisins or grapes should be treated as a poisoning case.
Candy Wrappers: More Than Just Litter
Pets often consume candy with the wrappers still on, which could lead to a life-threatening bowel obstruction sometimes requiring surgical intervention. Symptoms include vomiting, decreased appetite, difficulty defecating, or lethargy.
Glow Sticks, Costumes, and Candles
Glow sticks and glow jewelry may fascinate pets, but their contents can cause mouth discomfort and excessive drooling if punctured.
Dressing up our pets can be amusing, but it’s important to ensure costumes do not impair their vision, movement, or air intake. Small metallic parts, if ingested, can result in serious poisoning.
Lastly, while candles create a spooky ambiance, they should be kept out of reach from curious noses and wagging tails to avoid burns.
As we gear up for Halloween, let’s remember to keep these safety tips in mind for our beloved pets. Together, we can make this a fun and safe holiday for everyone at TLC Pet Hospital!