Halloween is a very popular annual holiday, and the perfect excuse to celebrate with neighbors, friends and family. However, while Halloween may be exciting and fun-filled for humans, it unfortunately poses a number of risks to any dogs living in and around your home.
Whether you are having a Halloween party at home, you simply have a lot of treats around, or you take your dog walking in the local area, you will have to take extra special care to ensure that your crafty canine doesn’t manage to get his paws into the following foods, all of which could make him very unwell on this annual holiday event.
Halloween Candy and Chocolate
If there is one thing that we can guarantee that you will have in abundance this Halloween it is candy. Candy comes in a variety of forms, but virtually all of it contains a sugar substitute known as Xylitol. Xylitol is known for being extremely toxic to animals, including your delectable doggy. If your furbaby eats it, it will trick his body into thinking his sugar levels are higher than they should be, and his body will release insulin to get rid of the excess. Unfortunately, since his blood sugar levels actually aren’t abnormally high at all, this could actually cause them to drop to a dangerously low level and make him very sick. Xylitol consumption has also been known to cause liver damage and liver failure in dogs. The effects of Xylitol consumption are very serious and potentially life-threatening in dogs.
If there is another thing that you have in and around your home in abundance it is pumpkins. While pumpkin itself isn’t actually toxic to dogs, it can cause digestive problems, particularly if eaten in large quantities. This is because it is very rich in fiber and too much can trigger your dog to have diarrhea. However, it is not just excess amounts of pumpkin that you need to concern yourself with.
- Make sure that your dog doesn’t eat the stem or leaves. These are covered with tiny, sharp hairs that can irritate his mouth and digestive system.
- Don’t allow your dog to eat the shell of the pumpkin. Over Halloween pumpkins are decorated with things like glue, glitter or shellac that are toxic.
- Pumpkin seeds go rancid quickly, so don’t let your dog eat them unless they have been roasted first.
- Pumpkins also go moldy very fast. Eating moldy food can make your pet sick so keep your furbaby well away from anything other than fresh and prepared pumpkin.
Cakes, cookies and pudding made with mixes
It may surprise you to learn that Xylitol is also found in a variety of different pre-made cake, cookie and pudding mixes. Anything you bake using these should be kept well away from your dog. If you want to share some sweet treats, bake from scratch so that you know exactly what ingredients are being included in your masterpiece!
Alcohol, coffee, tea and flavored water
Okay, these aren’t exactly foods, but they are all drinks that are consumed in abundance all year round and if you are having a party, alcohol may almost certainly be on the menu. Unfortunately, all of these are toxic to animals, including your furry friend. Alcohol can cause sickness, diarrhea and damage to your dog’s central nervous system, while tea and coffee contain caffeine, which can cause him to develop a range of worrying problems including dangerously high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias. In some cases, death from caffeine poisoning can occur. And finally, flavored waters often contain Xylitol to make them sweeter.
When it comes to keeping your dog safe this Halloween, knowledge is power. Understanding what foods your canine pal should avoid will enable you to make the right decisions regarding his care. For more advice and support on which foods you should keep away from your dog this Halloween, please contact our offices in Richmond, VA.