The arrival of Halloween brings fun parties, trick-or-treaters, and lots of delicious candies. However, some of the same goodies and decorations we humans are fond of can be potentially hazardous to our pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is offering pet owners some helpful hints to keep their pets healthy and safe during Halloween.

Halloween treats with chocolate are not appropriate for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark) can be potentially poisonous to many animals. In general, the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine as milk chocolate. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.

Candies and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets, as ingestion of significant quantities can produce a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, in-coordination and seizures. Be sure to keep such products well out of the reach of your pets.
Halloween costumes may pose additional risks to pets. Feathers, ribbons, strings can be ingested and wreck havoc on your pet’s intestines. Try not to leave any costume materials within reach of your pets. The same goes for candy wrappers and treat bags.

Many pets become excessively anxious around Halloween due to the influx of trick or treaters, the bell ringing etc. If your pet is prone to anxiety, you may want to come in to see if sedatives might be an option for you.