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Home > Dogs > My Dog Ate Halloween Candy: Vet Approved Advice on What to Do

My Dog Ate Halloween Candy: Vet Approved Advice on What to Do

halloween candies

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Halloween is that fun, fall-time holiday when you can dress up and be someone (or something) else. Children especially enjoy this holiday because it means going trick-or-treating and getting candy. However, Halloween can be a dangerous holiday for dogs because many trick-or-treat bowls contain chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.

If your dog eats chocolate, the #1 plan of action will be to contact your vet. Your only option will probably be an emergency vet since trick-or-treating occurs at night, and it’s a good idea to have that number handy before your kids venture out for the evening. In this guide, we’ll examine what to do if your dog eats Halloween candy, so you’re prepared before the festivities begin. First, we’ll list candies you should keep away from your dog at all costs.

divider-dog paw

The 5 Halloween Candies to Keep Away From Your Dog

1. Chocolate

We know we’ve already mentioned chocolate, but due to the toxicity level in dogs, we wanted to mention it again, especially since chocolate makes up the bulk of Halloween candy given out to trick-or-treaters. If your dog eats a very small amount of milk chocolate, it may not be a problem or could result in some vomiting and diarrhea. However, the effects can be extreme if large quantities are ingested (especially dark chocolate), such as internal bleeding, heart issues, tremors, or seizures.

2. Raisins

Raisins can come in small, individual boxes and sometimes end up in a trick-or-treater’s bag. Raisins, if ingested even in small quantities, can cause kidney failure in dogs, and some dogs are more sensitive to raisins than others. Call your vet as soon as possible if you know your dog has eaten raisins or grapes.

raisins on a plate
Image by: Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

3. Xylitol

Candy corn is a favorite among most trick-or-treaters, and candy corn usually has the ingredient xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute frequently found in peanut butter, too, so be sure to read the labels of any peanut butter before you purchase. Ingestion of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can result in seizures and death. Not all candy corn has it, but they do have high amounts of sugar, which should be ideally avoided.

4. Candy Wrappers

Not all dangerous candies are the culprits in making your dog sick. The wrappers the candies are in are also a cause for concern. Picture this scenario: even if chocolate is still in the wrapper, your dog will tear right through it and eat the wrapper along with the chocolate. Even if the candy inside is not harmful, the wrapper could cause a bowel obstruction. Most times, a dog can pass the wrapper, but you still want to keep wrapped candies away.

a bunch of candies
Image by: Janvanbizar, Pixabay

5. Lollipops

Even if you want to hold out your lollipop so your dog can lick it, you should refrain from doing this due to the high sugar content plus the fact it is a choking hazard for your dog.divider-paw

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe

man holding plastic container
Image credit: Stanislav71, Shutterstock

As we’ve mentioned, the first plan of action is to contact your vet immediately if your dog eats Halloween candy. If you’re not sure what your dog ate, you can always call the Pet Poison Helpline, and they can guide you on the steps to take and what to watch for.

The best prevention for your dog getting sick or even dying is to keep Halloween candy well out of reach. Another excellent way to keep your dog safe is to keep your dog home while trick-or-treating. Children may drop a piece of candy without realizing it, only for your dog to snatch it up.

After trick-or-treating, put all the candy in a dog-proof container so your dog cannot access it. When waiting on trick-or-treaters at home, put the Halloween bowl up high and out of reach.


Final Thoughts

Dogs can enjoy Halloween too, but it must be done safely. You can also provide safe Halloween dog treats at home for your dog to enjoy so that it doesn’t miss out on the festivities. Remember that if you use peanut butter to make safe dog treats, ensure it is free of xylitol. Happy Halloween!

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Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

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