Halloween Safety Tips: Why Chocolate Is Bad For Your Dog

Dr. Fauci has said outdoor trick-or-treating is perfectly safe this year! But, what about their four-legged friends?

Here are the 5 essential tips on how to trick-or-treat safely with your dog from Dr. Caroline Wilde, staff veterinarian at Trupanion.

1. Candy and Chocolate – Trupanion has found that historically there is a noticeable increase in chocolate toxicity claims beginning now, through the end of the year. Given that spooky fact, Trupanion recommends that pet owners keep any candy or treats they may have around for Halloween in a safe place that is not accessible by their pet. Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, however, unlike people, dogs and cats can't metabolize this compound, so its stimulant effects are amplified. Candy and baked goods containing the sugar substitute xylitol can also be extremely toxic and should be kept away from your pets.

2. Pumpkin candles and decorations – Candles may bring an extra glow to that jack-o-lantern, but make sure they are not in reach of your dogs and cats. Flames can easily find wagging tails and curious noses.

3. Costumes – We've all seen those adorable pets dressed in their Halloween costume – they're irresistible! Just make sure they are comfortable wearing a costume and the getup you choose is not annoying or unsafe for your fury friend. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and don't leave your pet unattended in its costume.

4. Trick-or-Treat Visitors – One of the best things about the Halloween is all of the costumed kids that grace your front doorstep, but all of the added commotion and noise can be stressful to family pets. It's best to keep your pet in a separate room away from the front door during the trick-or-treat activities. If your pet is particularly anxious with noises and new people, talk to your veterinarian to see if an anti-anxiety medication would be appropriate for your pet.

5. Visible and Identifiable – Never leave your pet unsupervised, but in case your dog or cat does manage to dart outside make sure they have on a reflective collar for visibility and proper identification attached to that collar to help get you reunited with your pet if needed. Getting your pet microchipped can help ensure your pet's safe return if it does get out, any time of year.

*A recent survey of Trupanion's database indicates pet owners have given a nod of approval to Dr. Fauci as some have started naming their favorite furry friends, Fauci.

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