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What Can’t My Dog Eat This Halloween – 4 Big Dangers in the Trick or Treat Basket

Dog with trick or treat basket

We ALL love Halloween treats and that might go double for your dog. But there is very little in those Trick-or-Treat bags that are safe for your dog.

So, today Heather & I decided to focus on helping you keep Fido safe around those treats.

Here are some dangerous Halloween Treats you want to keep away from your dog. File these in the “what can’t my dog eat” category.

Artificial Sweeteners that are Toxic to Dogs

Sugar container on wooden tray with spoon full of sweetener resting on the tray

I’ll start with the worst first >>>  Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is sometimes used to “sugar free” candy.

For dogs, xylitol poisoning is a major problem, according to Ahna Brutlag, DVM, associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. Brutlag says ingesting xylitol causes a rapid and massive insulinrelease in dogs, which will manifest itself outwardly to a pet owner as acute weakness, staggering, and vomiting. “Within 15 to 20 minutes, they might even be comatose,” she adds, and depending on the amount consumed, a dog can also experience liver failure from ingesting xylitol.

Franky, all artificial sweeteners can poison your dog. These are the absolutely most dangerous Halloween Treats to your dog.

And they can all cause permanent kidney damage.

But Xylitol is the WORST.

It causes permanent and often deadly liver damage – fast! 

Xylitol is found in gums, toothpaste, lots of candies, and even peanut butter.

Did your dog eat a piece of gum? Check out our post My Dog Ate Bubble Gum to learn what you should do.

Which leads me to…

A Peanut Butter and Dogs Warning

Mound of Peanut butter on white background

Ok, we all love to give our dogs peanut butter.

Who doesn’t love to watch them contort to lick the roof of their mouths for ages??

And the dogs LOVE it!! 

But you must be very careful about peanut butter. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to put Xylitol in peanut butter.

Whoever it was, they probably did not have a peanut butter loving dog! Always make sure you check the labels for this sneaky ingredient before even giving a SMIDGE of peanut butter candy to your dog.

The other reality about peanut butter – especially peanut butter candy – is that our dog’s system was not designed to digest the types of sugars and fats that humans eat.

Just a fraction of the safe amount of sugar for a person is way too much for your dog.

And just like in people, too much sugar and the wrong fats lead to diabetes.

Now, if you’re careful to always choose peanut butter that doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, you can treat your dog occasionally.

Peanut butter is a favorite in our house, and I love to make them peanut butter treats.

Just not too often – after all, we want them to live long and happy lives.

Chocolate and Dogs Toxicity

squares of chocolate with chocolate shavings on white background

I know.  You’ve probably heard the part about chocolate dangers to dogs before.

And if you’re like most of us, you know a dog who scarfed down a pound of chocolate or a dog who ate a chocolate chip cookie and lived to bark the tail.

But the list of issues that chocolate can cause for our dogs made me vow to keep it way out of reach forever!

Signs of chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after your dog has eaten it, may last up to 72 hours, and include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Increased urination
  • Tremors
  • Elevated or abnormal heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Collapse and death

Note: Older dogs and dogs with heart conditions are more at risk of sudden death from chocolate poisoning

Thank you to the akc for this list.

If your dog has eaten chocolate make sure you call your vet or the pet poison helpline immediately – 1-855-213-6680.

Avoid Raisins and these Signs of Raisin Toxicity in Dogs

Bowl of raisins with raisins spilling over the sides on a white background

Grapes and their dehydrated offspring raisins can cause kidney failure in even just small doses, even for larger dogs.

Even just one or two raisins or grapes can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Grapes, raisins, sultanas, and even currants (some currants are actually small, black raisins) are toxic to your dog! There have also been anecdotal reports of cats and ferrets being affected. Ingestion of even a small amount of grapes, raisins, or currants can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Most, if not all, products that contain grapes or raisins may cause toxicity – this includes grape juice, trail mix with raisins, raisin bread, and possibly even wine. Additionally, some cookies and bars (including protein and snack bars) may contain raisin paste and some breads contain raisin juice. All grapes and raisins, seeded and seedless, organic and conventionally grown, can cause toxicity. The exact way these foods cause toxicity is still unknown and toxicity does not necessarily appear to be dose-dependent.  This unknown toxin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, and acute renal (kidney) failure.

Pet Poison Helpline

Dehydration, stomach pain, tremors, seizures, coma… this list is as bad as the list for chocolate.

Now, dogs are fast.

And our Halloween snacks have strong, happy smells that dogs LOVE. So it’s important to be vigilant. If you drop something, get there before your dog.

If he’s faster than you, call your vet right away. If you don’t have a vet there is an awesome fee based animal poison control center that you can reach at 1-855-764-7661.

The easiest thing to do with Halloween treats is to keep them in a sealed container away from your dog. That way the treats can’t cause trouble for your best buddy.

And if you want to create a costume for your dog this Halloween, here are 5 Easy DIY Dog Costumes.

For more information on the health and safety of your dog, read Is your dog healthy? Here are 8 clues and How to protect your dog from these 4 winter weather hazards!

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