Speaking of Pets: Be sure to keep your pets away from these Halloween treats | VailDaily.com

Speaking of Pets: Be sure to keep your pets away from these Halloween treats

Joan Merriam
Speaking of Pets
Try celebrating with your fur babies by dressing up together instead of eating sweet treats.
Special to the Daily

Halloween is just around the corner. If you like to celebrate with your four-footed companions by giving them human treats like candy and cookies, you could be endangering their lives if they contain certain ingredients.

Chocolate

Everyone knows this one. Eight ounces of milk chocolate or one ounce of dark chocolate can put a 50-pound dog in serious or even lethal crisis, and can be just as dangerous for cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. If your dog consumes some, PetMD has an online calculator that can determine how toxic it could be: Visit petmd.com/dog/chocolate-toxicity, but don’t use the internet to replace veterinary care.

Raisins and grapes

Think oatmeal-raisin cookies would be a healthy treat for your dog? Think again. Grapes and raisins have been associated with fatal kidney failure in some dogs.

Macadamia nuts

While many dogs go nuts for nuts, macadamias have to be the exception. Macadamia nut toxicosis can make your pup extremely uncomfortable, with severe pain, leg weakness, tremors and-low grade fever.

Xylitol

The most common item containing xylitol is sugar-free gum, but it’s also in sugar-free candies, cookies and cakes. In dogs and cats, xylitol can lead to a critical drop in blood sugar, which can lead to disorientation, seizures, vomiting, and in some cases fatal liver failure.

Candy wrappers

Keep candy wrappers away from your kitty: They can be a serious choking hazard for obvious reasons.

Trick-or-Treaters

Imagine you’re a dog or cat, and when the doorbell rings, suddenly there’s an entire horde of fearsome creatures that bear no resemblance whatsoever to humans. A dog’s first reaction could be anywhere between stark terror and vicious attack; cats could easily bolt out the door to escape. The best way to keep your pets safe is to put them in another room with the door closed so they won’t be exposed to the ghoulies and ghosties.

Overnight

Finally, before you go to bed on Halloween night, make sure any and all goodies are well out of reach of any counter-surfing pets You don’t want to wake up in the morning to an unpleasant surprise.

Joan Merriam lives in Northern California with her golden retriever, Joey, and Maine coon cat, Indy. She emphasizes that she’s not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist — just an animal lover who’s been writing about pets since 2012. You can reach her at joan@joanmerriam.com.