Candied Canines

Most people know chocolate is poisonous for dogs, but with Halloween approaching, a myriad of candy will be around in abundance. Besides chocolate, did you know there are several food items that can land you and your pup at the emergency vet in a hurry? 


All chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. Larger dogs can tolerate a higher amount if they get into it, but if you have a small breed, it can turn deadly very quickly, and even large dogs can get into trouble quickly.

Candy corn and sugary treats

While these aren’t as poisonous to dogs as chocolate, they can result in pancreatitis. It usually takes a couple of days for symptoms to set in, so it’s best to keep them away from reach.

Grapes, raisins and Raisinets

Grapes, raisins and the like are one of the most toxic things to dogs and in some dogs, it only takes one to cause kidney failure. Things can take a turn for the worse in a matter of minutes, so do your pups (and the trick or treaters) a favor and choose a different Halloween treat.

Sugar-free candy/gum, tea, sweeteners, mints, etc.

For a dog, anything that is marked as sugar-free, diet, etc., or contains artificial sweeteners should be avoided. These products contain xylitol (sometimes referred to as birch sugar), a type of sugar alcohol that is found in many fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, xylitol is even more toxic to dogs than chocolate. One piece of Ice Breakers Cubes is enough to kill a small dog. Xylitol is becoming more popular in many foods like peanut or other nut butters, hard candies, etc., so always check the labels before buying these items if you have a dog around the house. (Incidentally, it is also in toothpaste, so never use human grade toothpaste on your dog).

Candy bags, chip bags, plastic bags, candy wrappers

While these aren’t foods, they likely will be plentiful around Halloween and pose a great danger to dogs. Anytime you have a plastic, Mylar or bag in general, keep them away from any counter-surfing pups, and when the bags are empty, cut them open to make a flat sheet, then take them outside to a trash can with a lid. Critters that stick their heads in these bags to lick the crumbs can get the bag stuck on their mouth and nose and suffocate. Once the bag is on their nose, as the dog breathes, it creates a vacuum-like seal, so the dog won’t be able to get it off.

This is only a small list of the most common dangers around Halloween. More can be found online and by checking with your vet.

It’s also important to check your yard after Halloween and be vigilant on dog walks to see if anything was left behind that your dog might get. When you check your kiddos candy, it’s also a great time to sit down and talk to the children about the dangers of giving candy to your dog.  If your dog does get a hold of anything dangerous, call your vet as quickly as possible and know where the emergency 24-hour vets are in case you need them. 

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