Toxic Dog Foods: Dr. Katrina Warren on Halloween Trick or Treat Dangers for Dogs and Puppies

This is howl-oween!

As families prepare to celebrate the culmination of spooky season with a trick or treat – a activity that has gained popularity in Australia – there are some things families with fur babies need to keep in mind.

With toddlers (and, let’s be real, parents too) indulging in chocolate and other treats to commemorate the ancient Celtic holiday, it’s important to make sure these sweets around the house and of the streets do not end up in the mouths of puppies and dogs.

Young children can’t be trusted to keep their Halloween stash out of reach of pets, and often leave half-eaten chocolate and candy lying around, so parents need to be diligent — and here’s why.

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Dr. Katrina Warren has a warning for parents who cheat on or deal with children and pets. (Getty)

Don’t underestimate the dangers of chocolate for dogs

Chocolate is very tasty for dogs, but it can be deadly – a small amount of chocolate can put a small dog’s life in danger.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical also known as xantheosis which negatively affects the heart, lungs, kidneys and central nervous system. Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include restlessness, hyperactivity, increased thirst, increased urination, gasping, and seizures. If you suspect your pet has consumed chocolate or notice these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

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Halloween dogs

Animals in Halloween costumes

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The sugar-free sweetener is also not safe for dogs

Xylitol is a common sugar-free sweetener often found in confections like gummies, mints, and other lollipops.

It is becoming more and more popular but, although safe for humans, it is very dangerous for dogs. When dogs consume xylitol, it is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a powerful release of insulin that can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly. It can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

If you think your dog ate something without sugar, check the ingredient list for xylitol, then call your vet if he ate it.

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Puppy eating a Halloween trick or containing a treat
Packaging is as dangerous to puppies and dogs as food. (Getty)

Beware of food packaging as much as the food itself

Dogs often consume chocolate and confectionery and gobble up the wrappers at the same time.

Eating foil and cellophane wraps can cause choking or bowel obstruction, which may require surgery. Signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, straining to defecate.

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

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