The Dog Ate My Candy!

We here at Woodland Veterinary Hospital love Halloween! The pumpkins, the costumes, the candy – everything! However, Halloween also brings some risks for our four-legged companions. Before you think about leaving that candy bowl unattended or sharing your trick-or-treat haul with your pets, read this! You just might save their lives. Emergency, critical care and toxicology calls increase by 12% during the week of Halloween, making it the Pet Poison Helpline’s busiest time of year. Every year, WVH gets calls about pets who have accidentally gotten into chocolate or other goodies, and they are a true emergency call. We love your pets and want to help you keep them safe this year, so check out this list of treats that should be kept for PEOPLE only!

Xylitol – xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that is used in sugar-free candies, most commonly, gum. It can cause a very severe drop in blood sugar that can happen within minutes after ingestion. Even small amounts (2-10 pieces) can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure or even death. It is estimated to be 100 times as toxic as chocolate to dogs.

Chocolate – perhaps the best-known of potential household toxins, and certainly one of the most popular Halloween candies! Dark and baking chocolates are the most dangerous, but even milk chocolate can be toxic in larger amounts.


Candy Corn & Other High Sugar Candy – Candies that are made with pure sugar can cause severe gas and diarrhea. Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis in pets. Potentially fatal, pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and very painful. It may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy.

Raisins/Chocolate Covered Raisins – we all have that neighbor who wants to hand out healthy snacks like fruit, or mini boxes of raisins, but watch out for these. Raisins (and other grape products) can cause severe kidney failure. Adding chocolate to the mix adds extra danger. If your pet eats any raisins, even just one, he needs to be taken in immediately for emergency treatment.


Candy Wrappers – When dogs get into the candy stash, they usually don’t bother to unwrap their goodies. Plastic and foil wrappers can cause an obstruction in the intestines and irritate the lining of the GI tract. If severe, this can require surgical intervention.


Small Hard Candy – Hard candy often has a delicious taste to pets, but aside from the sugar risks, it can pose a major choking hazard. It becomes slippery when mixed with saliva, and can easily be inhaled into the trachea (wind pipe).


Glow Sticks & Glow Jewelry – Pets, especially cats, love to chew on these items. In doing so, they can easily puncture them and ingest the liquid inside. Their contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth, as well as profuse drooling and foaming.

Those are the big ones, but if you are not sure, about a treat that’s ok for pets, it is always ok to call us at WVH and ask! We can be reached at 530-666-2461 any day of the week. Happy Howl-O-Ween!

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