Halloween is one of the most poisonous holidays for dogs. We humans leave bags and bowls of chocolate candy out, and our curious pups discover it and gorge.
The darker and less sweet the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. So be extra careful to store unsweetened baking chocolate squares and semi-sweet nibs out of your pup’s reach.
The toxic ingredient in chocolate is methylxanthines (called theobromine) and caffeine. Mild ingestion (1-2 mini candy bars) may cause agitation/restlessness, panting, vomiting, or diarrhea. Symptoms of mild chocolate poisoning usually appear within 6 to 12 hours after your dog eats chocolate, and may last up to 72 hours.
If your dog eats a lot of chocolate, symptoms may include a racing heart rate, very high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythm.
Severe poisoning may cause tremors, seizures and rarely, death.
Unsure how much chocolate could cause a toxic reaction in your dog?
Check out this Toxicity Meter for Dogs. Input your dog’s weight and the amount and type of chocolate consumed and you’ll get suggestions on how to monitor your dog.
Note: We don’t vouch for the reliability of the toxicity meter and the meter does not constitute medical advice. The meter is merely an informational tool.
Keep Sugar-Free Candy Out of Your Dog’s Reach
Sugar-free candies are also dangerous to dogs. Certain candies, mints, baked goods, yogurt, peanut butter, and chewing gum can contain large amounts of xylitol, a natural sugar-free sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and even liver damage in dogs.
Symptoms of xylitol poisoning may include weakness, vomiting, lethargy, collapse, racing heart rate, and general malaise.
Raisins Are Highly Toxic to Dogs, Too!
Keep your dog away from those tiny-but-toxic boxes of raisins, too. When dogs accidentally ingest raisins, grapes, and certain currants, acute kidney damage can result.
Symptoms may include vomiting, belly pain, bad breath, excessive or decreased thirst or urination, or generalized malaise.
What To Do If Your Dog Ingests Toxins
If your dog has eaten chocolate, sugar-free candy, raisins, or grapes and is exhibiting symptoms, call us immediately at 206-323-4433. If you can’t reach us, call the 24-hour emergency hospital at 206-624-9111.
Emergency Home Remedy: Induce Vomiting
You can also induce vomiting by giving your dog a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Mix the peroxide with water or vanilla ice cream to make it easier for your dog to swallow.
After administering the hydrogen peroxide, take your dog on a walk for about 15 minutes. The activity will help induce vomiting (and you’d rather have that happen outdoors).
If your dog does not vomit within 30 minutes, do NOT give her more hydrogen peroxide.
If you can’t get your dog to vomit feed her something she likes eating, which will help dilute the chocolate in her system and reduce the potency of the theobromine.
Keep your furry family member safe…
Store chocolate, foods containing xylitol, raisins and grapes far out of your dog’s reach.