Halloween Pet Hazards
Animal Poison Control USA:
24/7 365 days/year. Some fees may apply. Not to Rude Kitty but to ASPCA.
Our pets are in very real danger at Halloween because we are distracted by our people excitement and therefore not always paying attention to them.
Our pets are like any child, if you aren’t paying attention to them, they get into trouble in the blink of any eye. They can become frightened by all of the noise outside and the doorbell. The strange cars on the street and even strange pets who are trick or treating with their owners. It is all a giant spook house.
Keep your pets safe. Lock your cats and dogs in a bedroom or safe room/area that they are used to and feel safe in. Our cat loves the laundry room and we put him there when he needs to be kept in and we know that we will be busy with distractions. Make sure that they have a litter box and food and water.
Do not put everyone together if they don’t get along! You will have a Gingham Dog and Calico Cat fight on your hands. Please use common sense.
Besides the danger of our pets escaping into the night from a dropped leash or an opened door for trick or treating ghouls and princesses, the Candy Dish is a potential hazard.
I tried to break things down into groups and decided to do another blog in the future regarding XILITOL. Xilitol is a very common artificial sweetener, but just briefly let’s touch on it for Halloween. It is in most gums, some sugar free Jello puddings and jell-o’s, and many sugar-free candies.
It is more dangerous than chocolate because it is harmful in smaller doses and it is in everything from toothpaste to candy to gum to shampoo and deodorant. Your best bet is to check the labels of all of your products at the store, before bringing them into the house. Especially if you have a puppy or a dog who likes to get into everything.
We had a horrible, expensive and nerve wracking evening with Tucker because I was given Trident gum by my dentist because I kept getting cavities in spite of dedicated brushing. Tucker found some on my desk and all that we found was a wrapper. Or multiple wrappers. Thankfully, he is a large dog and his body weight vs. the amount of gum that he could have eaten (even if he ate a wrapper or two) was not enough to harm him. But it was enough for me to now dispose of my chewed gum by wrapping it in toilet paper and flushing (sorry about the plumbing hazards, Tom) and to keep the unchewed gum in my closed desk drawer.
The most common hazardous Halloween items for pets are:*
- Raisins (I gave out raisins for Halloween once and justly deserved the soap on my windows)
- Sugar Free candy and gum
- Macadamia Nuts
- Candy wrappers
- Airheads (xilitol)
- Nicotene patches (I don’t know, do you think anyone will try to quit on Halloween?)
- Raw bread or pizza dough (raw, uncooked, it can still continue to rise inside their tummies.)
I think that Chocolate is probably the most popular candy in America for Halloween so I want to focus on that as a hazard to our dogs. It is also dangerous for cats.
Dark Chocolate is more dangerous than Milk or White because it has more concentrated cacao in it.
We have a Chocolate Hazard Calculator for your dogs and cats! both animals have the same toxicity threshold. (do NOT use this as ‘how much chocolate can I give my dog without harming him.’ That is just dumb and risky.) (CALCULATOR NOT AVAILABLE IN AMP WEB MODE)
If your dog eats chocolate, you need to know what kind of chocolate, how much he ate and how much he weighs.
A small dog who ate dark chocolate is in more danger than a big dog who ate a milk chocolate Kiss.
The dire signs of a sick pet from eating chocolate are:
- Elevated heart rate
Unfortunately, these signs don’t always appear immediately. So, if you think or know that your dog has ingested chocolate or any other toxic substance, please call your vet as soon as you can. If you wait until they have the above symptoms, you may have waited until it was too late.
Keeping an eye on your pet should be second nature to you, even on exciting nights, so if your pet is acting strangely quiet, has that ‘my tummy hurts’ look in their eyes, needs to be next to you more than usual or seems to need to go out urgently or is very thirsty, look around, see if anything is out of place.
Pets are curious and sneaky. You may find a scarecrow torn up and paritally eaten, some people snacks that were forgotten and eaten by your pet or even some make up that has been tasted.
Please check it all out, go around your home, look for messes (poo or Halloween things torn up) and just double check to make sure that everyone is alright before you go to bed.
Putting candy up and away from your pets (cats aren’t supposed to eat candy either) is a good way to prevent emergencies and heartaches (and vomiting and diarrhea at the very least). Put the candy inside your kitchen pantry and shut the door, put it in the garage if your pets don’t go out there (although mice may find it) or put it in your kitchen cupboard. I always stash things on top of the refrigerator or on top of the plates in my kitchen cabinet.
DO NOT put the candy in the oven for safe keeping!! That is a topic for another time as well, but obviously, it is potentially a big disaster waiting for someone to turn on the oven without checking first because they want a midnight snack of frozen pizza.
*More Xilitol products. There are over 700 products, I can’t list them all!
Here are a few brands and products to alert you to potential hazards:
- Toothpaste (even the healthy brands)
- CVS Breath Strips
- Extra Ice (Wrigleys)
- Hershey’s Ice Breakers
- Breath Savers
- Juicey Fruit
- Jello brand puddings and jello’s (sugar free)
- CVS Breath Strips
- Starbucks mint gum
- TicTac gum
- Walgreens gum
- Go Nut, Co. Almond butter
- Misc. Almond and Peanut butters
- Aqua Fresh
- Jack n’ Jill
- Kiss My Face
- Nuk – Gerber
- Phillips Sonic Care
- Tom’s of Maine
- Trader Joe’s