Uh-Oh! You Caught Your Dog Eating Candy This Halloween

dog halloween

One of the scariest things about Halloween is that it is prime time for catching your dog eating candy. With all the excitement in the air, our four-legged family members want to take part in all the fun. For them, that often means binge-eating candy (wrappers included) when we turn our backs. That’s a big problem.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, “During the week of Halloween, calls to the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent, making it the call center’s busiest time of year.” Additionally, Petplan insurance found, “Pets are 32% more likely to experience food poisoning during Halloween week.”

Since we know the sight of your dog eating candy can make you panic, we’ve done some research to help you know what to look out for and what to do if your fur baby gets into your dish of Halloween treats.

Know the Signs of Toxicity and the Pet Poison Hotline

Unfortunately, you may not actually catch your dog eating candy. If you see the remains of wrappers, you can assume your pup has sampled some Halloween candy. However, there may be times when you don’t know until you notice your dog is not acting like himself. According to Dogtime, the signs of chocolate ingestion (and other toxic foods) and possibly toxicity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Increased thirst
  • Decreased appetite
  • And, in severe cases, seizures.

Sorry to say, but many times the symptoms of toxicity take hours and even days to appear. By the time the dog acts sick, it may be too late. That’s why it is critical to contact the pet poison hotline if you suspect your dog ate the Halloween candy.

The Animal Poison Control Center Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact them at (855) 764-7661 if you have questions about your dog eating candy. If you know your dog ate chocolate or any treat that is toxic for dogs, contact your veterinarian for an appointment immediately.

It’s Not Just Chocolate That is a Problem

dog halloween

While most dog owners know the dangers of chocolate, there are other things that are dangerous. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, “The four most common food-related Halloween hazards for pets are chocolate, candy overindulgence, raisins and candy wrappers.”

Even if your dog avoids chocolate, but your dog ate Twizzlers, it is still a cause for concern. For example, if your dog binge eats a bunch of sugary, high-fat Halloween candy, it can cause pancreatitis. Sadly, pancreatitis can be fatal for dogs because the effects often aren’t seen until it is too late.

Another toxic ingredient is xylitol, which is commonly found in sugar-free foods. The Dogington Post explains, “Sugar-free gum and other ‘low calorie’ foods frequently contain xylitol.  Ingestion of xylitol can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, and/or liver failure.”

Raisins are also extremely poisonous for dogs, so if you plan to give out any boxes of raisins or chocolate-covered raisins to trick or treaters, keep them far away from your four-legged family member.

If Your Dog Ate a Candy Wrapper…

Let’s say your kids get overly excited eating their Halloween treats and leave the candy wrappers lying around. Your pup will be drawn to the scent remaining on these wrappers and gobble them up. If your dog ate a candy wrapper, how they respond comes to the size of the wrapper or the amount.

Chewy explains, “If the wrapper is small, it is likely that the pet will pass the wrapper as a part of the digestion process. However, depending on the size of your pet (and if the wrapper is large), eating a candy wrapper can cause a blockage or obstruction and persistent vomiting.”

If you suspect your dog ate a candy wrapper, contact your veterinarian.

If Your Dog Ate M&M’s…

If your dog ate M&M’s or your dog ate Hershey’s kisses, you have cause for concern. Ultimately, how toxic the chocolate is will depend on the type (i.e., baking chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate), the amount ingested, and your dog’s weight. If your dog ate a couple of M&Ms, he will be fine. However, if he gobbled a bunch, then you need to get him to the vet asap. With chocolate, it is best to err on the side of caution and take your dog to the vet.

If Your Dog Ate Starburst…

If your dog ate Starburst, you don’t have to worry quite as much. Candy such as Starburst and candy corn are not a health threat unless dogs eat more than 10 grams. They aren’t toxic. However, as we mentioned before, too much of any kind of candy is too much for a dog.

How to Prevent Your Dog Eating Candy This Halloween

dog halloween

The best way to avoid catching your dog eating candy this Halloween is to take preventative steps beforehand. First, make sure you keep all the Halloween candy out of paw’s reach (including the edge of the countertop). Next, talk to your kids about which foods are unsafe for dogs and explain why they can’t leave candy or wrappers around where the dog can get them. Finally, make sure your dog is getting fed full meals and has plenty of water, so he’ll be less tempted to search through your trash for Halloween treats.

Super Scoopers wishes you and your pooch a safe and fun Halloween!