Halloween marks the start of not only the holiday, but also the candy dish season. We all love to leave treats out for our guests (and ourselves) but it is incredibly important to remember – our dogs are tempted by the sweets as well! Please remember to keep all these edibles out of reach of your dog.
What to do if you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic:
Immediately call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680
KEEP ALL CHOCOLATE OUT OF YOUR DOG’S REACH
CHOCOLATE is toxic for dogs! Chocolate contains ingredients that are difficult for dogs to metabolize; specifically theobromine and caffeine. Different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of these substances, and the general rule of thumb is that the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger.
Theobromine & Caffeine levels in different types of chocolate;
|Type of chocolate||Caffeine (per oz)||Theobromine (per oz)|
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle trembling
RAISINS ARE TOXIC, EVEN IN SMALL AMOUNTS
Grapes and Raisins (seedless & with seeds) can cause acute renal failure in some dogs. We do not know the exact mechanism, but do know that renal failure can occur within 48 hours of ingestion.
Symptoms of Raisin/Grape toxicity:
- Physical weakness
- Drinking large amounts of water
- Abdominal pain
SUGAR-FREE CANDIES & GUM
Many sugar-free candies and gums have an ingredient called xylitol, which can be lethal to dogs. A dog’s body recognizes xylitol as a large amount of “sugar” and releases a ton of insulin which, in response, causes a severe (can be life threatening) lowering of blood sugar. Ingestion of large amounts of xylitol has been known to cause liver failure as well.
The important piece of information to know is that it does not take very much xylitol for toxicity. The most common cause of xylitol poisoning is with sugar-free gum. As few as 2 pieces (1g xylitol per piece) of sugar-free gum can cause severe low blood sugar in a 45-pound dog. If you suspect xylitol ingestion, make sure to identify the brand and suspected amount of gum when calling your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline.
Symptoms of xylitol toxicity:
- Incoordination (acting drunk-like)
- Muscle tremors
Dr. Amy Straut, DVM, CCRT
Beantown Bed & Biscuit