Halloween is a fun time for kids and families. Tricks and treats, glow jewelry, costumes. These things all add up to excitement and enjoyment. But for our pets, there are hidden dangers of which pet owners need to be aware.
Chocolate and Xylitol Toxicities
Halloween poses lots of possibilities for toxicities and poisonings for our pets. Two of the most common are chocolate and xylitol.
Chocolate contains a compound known as theobromine which is dangerous for both dogs and cats. Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine and some kinds of chocolate are more poisonous for pets than others. The toxicity is also dose-related. While a small chocolate bar may not be dangerous for a large-breed dog, for a tiny Chihuahua the same chocolate bar could be deadly.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is commonly found in sugar-free gum and candies. It is extremely dangerous for dogs. Even a single stick of sugar-free gum containing xylitol can be lethal for your dog.
Other Potential Poisonous Foods
While chocolate and xylitol are probably the most common of the toxicities posed by Halloween, it is advisable to keep all treats out of reach of your pet as there are other potentials dangers as well. For instance, the seeds of caramel-covered apples could pose a threat for your dog or cat. Treats containing grapes and raisins are also toxic for your pet.
Glow Sticks and Glow Jewelry
Glow sticks and jewelry are frequently a part of the Halloween festivities. Occasionally, a dog or cat may bite into one of these objects. If this happens to your pet, you are likely to see a great deal of salivation. However, the chemical in glow sticks and glow jewelry (dibutyl phthalate), though it has an extremely bitter taste, is not typically dangerous for your pet. Still, the experience is likely to be an unpleasant one for both you and your pet. So do yourself and your pet a favor and keep these products out of your pet’s reach.
Other Halloween Worries
Many pets, particularly cats and shy or easily frightened dogs, dislike any disruption in their normal routine. Halloween, unfortunately for these pets, typically brings a great deal of disruption.
If you have trick-or-treaters visiting your home, it’s likely you’ll be opening and closing the door frequently and the doorbell will also likely be ringing routinely throughout the evening. Be sure your pet is in a well-secured area of your home to prevent an unintended escape. Halloween is not a night you want your pet running loose unsupervised.
Providing a private area for your pet away from the excitement of strangers and ringing doorbells may also make your pet more comfortable and keep him less stressed.