Halloween is fast approaching, and with this festive celebration come some potential hassles and hazards to your dog that you should avoid.
- Candy is generally not good for dogs. While some dogs will just vomit after eating candy, most will react like children with too much sugar in them. They will bounce off every wall in your house and they will not listen. Remember that a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog? Well, an amped up dog is not a well-behaved dog. But also like children, they will collapse into a sugar coma soon after and you will have some time to clean up the mess. Better to avoid the whole scene.
- Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—is potentially lethal (though I have read that white chocolate—which is not real chocolate—is less dangerous than other chocolates). Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, as well as increased thirst, urination and heart rate—even seizures.? Some dogs with chocolate poisoning can lapse into a coma and die. For more information about chocolate poisoning in dogs, check out this Web site.
- Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
- If you leave the candy dish out and your pup finds his way into the loot, the foil and plastic wrappers can pose additional dangers. They can cause obstructions in the digestive track if they make it past the choking point. Best to keep the candy bowl out of your pup’s reach.
- Trick-or-treaters come with their own set of issues. It is a dog’s job to bark when there is a knock at the door. That is one of the hardest things to work on. Personally, I prefer that my dogs do that particular job. So barking dogs at the door when children look for candy can be stressful to the children and to the dogs at the same time. The ASPCA recommends that you keep your dogs in a separate room, away from the front door, during peak trick-or-treating hours.
- Jack-o-Lanterns also can pose a problem. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
For more Halloween pet safety tips, please visit ASPCA.com. And if you believe your dog has ingested something toxic, please call your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Jill McEnery is a former SLDogPAC board member ©2012 Jill McEnery. This article originally appeared at Examiner.com.