You should not eat any of the Halloween candy you see laying around.
Chocolate is toxic to animals and the sugar in the non-chocolate treats can still lead to an upset stomach or even pancreatitis.
Chocolate toxicity is more common in dogs then cats since they are most likely to help themselves to the contents of the garbage can or food sitting out on a counter.
The main ingredients that leads to clinical signs are methylxanthines: theobromine and caffeine. The darker the chocolate the higher the content of methylxanthines.
This means a dog might be okay eating an entire bar of milk chocolate while 1-2 squares of baker’s chocolate could be fatal.
Chocolate toxicity is dose dependent which means the more your dog (or cat) eats, the higher the likelihood of becoming ill.
Signs of toxicity can range from restlessness, mild vomiting and diarrhea to ataxia, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias and death.
These symptoms typically begin six to 12 hours after the chocolate is ingested.
If you know your dog ingested chocolate you should call your veterinarian and have information ready:
• Your dog’s weight
• Type of chocolate eaten
• Amount eaten (in ounces or grams if possible)
• Estimate of when chocolate ingested.
With this information your veterinarian can often tell you if your dog needs to come in for treatment or if you can manage the symptoms at home.
While chocolate is the main culprit of Halloween related illness in dogs, it is important to keep the rest of the candy out of reach as well.
If your dog ingests large amounts of sugar it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis (a condition that may require hospitalization).
In addition, the dogs will often ingest the wrappers that the candy comes in which can lead to intestinal obstructions.
Be sure to keep all Halloween candy of your pet’s reach.
If you encounter an emergency call your veterinarian.