The Dangers of Halloween for Dogs

Halloween is a fun filled time for all of the family and it’s also a time when you can include your dog in the excitement. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of when including your dog in your Halloween fun. We have created a list for you within this blog which will give you all of the information you need!

 

DOGS ESCAPING WHEN TRICK-OR-TREATERS COME TO THE DOOR

Something very simple and probably overlooked is the possibility of your dog escaping when the door is opened to trick-or-treaters. This could prove dangerous when it is dark outside and you cannot call your dog back. The best way to go about welcoming trick-or-treaters to the door is to have your dog in another room with the door shut or to pop them on their lead so they can enjoy the Halloween fun but not get loose.

 

THE DANGERS OF HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE AND SWEETS

WHY IS CHOCOLATE BAD FOR DOGS?

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, it depends on the type of chocolate, how much is consumed and also the size of your dog as to how hazardous it will be. The substances in chocolate which are toxic and hazardous to dogs are theobromine and caffeine. Dogs cannot metabolize these toxins as quickly as humans and so they become more sensitive to the chemicals’ effects due to a build-up of toxic levels in their system. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more hazardous it is to dogs. All types of chocolate have different levels of theobromine, cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate contain the highest levels, while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest.

 

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG COULD HAVE EATEN CHOCOLATE

Signs of chocolate poisoning are dependent upon the type and amount of chocolate ingested. The most common initial symptoms for many dogs include vomiting and diarrhoea, drinking more water than normal, excessive urination, restlessness and a racing heartrate. Symptoms in more severe cases can include muscle tremors, seizures and heart failure. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, clinical signs of chocolate poising can take a few hours to develop and can often last for a few days. Although not often, chocolate poising can unfortunately be fatal.

 

WHY ARE SWEETS BAD FOR DOGS?

Sweets, chewing gum and baked goods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and can cause your dog both minor, or in some cases, serious health problems. The issue which xylitol presents for dogs is that it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This creates a rapid increase in insulin which causes a profound decrease in blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia). Untreated, hypoglycaemia can be life-threatening to dogs and so during the Halloween and trick-or-treating period, it is vital that you keep any sweets and products containing xylitol out of reach of your dog.

 

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG COULD HAVE EATEN SWEETS

Xylitol can cause a number of different symptoms including causing your dog’s blood sugar levels to drop significantly, seizures and liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and coordination problems. Allowing your dog to eat any sweet treats can cause problems with her teeth and can even lead to diabetes, just like in us humans.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG HAS EATEN CHOCOLATE OR SWEETS?

When in doubt, err on the side of caution and don’t take any chances. We advise that in any case, where you are aware that chocolate or sweets have been ingested or you believe they’ve possibly been ingested, call your vet immediately and they will provide you with the appropriate guidance. All chocolate and sweets must be stored securely in a place where dogs can’t get to, this includes the goodies you have sitting out for any trick-or-treaters who may appear at your door. Remember that dogs can jump higher than you may think and are always on the look-out for treats, so choose your sweetie spot wisely.

 

HOW TO CALM YOUR DOG’S FEARS OF INCREASED NOISE FROM KIDS AND TRICK-OR-TREATERS

Stay close to your dog when there is increased noise or new children/people around. If your dog is uncomfortable in social situations, keep them in the other room whilst trick-or-treaters are at the door.

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