Pet Talk: The dangers of Halloween | VailDaily.com

Pet Talk: The dangers of Halloween

Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM
Pet Talk

Fall is in the air. The leaves are changing, cold weather is arriving and Halloween is around the corner. Halloween can be a great time for children and families, but for pets, it is a dangerous time, as so many tasty treats your children bring home can be toxic to the unknowing pets.

Halloween is a very common time for an increase in pet visits to the emergency clinics. Some of the things dangerous to pets around Halloween are:

Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which to dogs, is very toxic. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it can be for your pet to ingest it. Signs of chocolate ingestion include excitability, vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures.

Candy wrappers: these can cause painful obstructions in pets as well as pancreatitis. Watch for vomiting, straining to defecate and abdominal pain.

Glow sticks: Pets, being curious creatures, will chew on glow sticks. This can cause painful ulcerations and burns in the mouth. Signs of glow stick ingestion include not eating, painful sores in the mouth and excessive salivation.

Grapes and raisins: Even in the smallest quantity, these are toxic and can cause kidney failure.

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Xylitol: Xylitol is a very common artificial sweetener found in many candies and is highly toxic. It can lead to liver failure and even death.

In addition to the "edible" dangers of Halloween, are the other dangers such as large crowds of masked children, unusual lights, an increase in the amount of traffic and more, all which pose an increase risk in your pet running away or getting hit by a car.

Be smart this Halloween. Keep your pets inside, on a leash and away from the festivities. Keep doors closed and avoid contact with both the trick-or-treaters as well as the treats.

Happy Halloween.