Safety Tips for Pet Owners: Westport Halloween Candy Dangers

massachusetts halloween candy and petsWhile your pets should not be given candy of any kind due to the high amounts of sugar and potential choking hazards that they present, certain types of candy are even more dangerous. Unfortunately, all of these candies are popular during the Halloween and Fall Festival season. Pet owners in Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fall River, and throughout the Southcoast region need to know all the details about holiday candy dangers and where to get emergency vet care for pets if they need it. The more you know about the possible hazards associated with various holidays and seasonal activities, the easier it will be to protect your pets from harm.

Dangerous Candy #1 – Candy Corn

While there’s a whole debate online about the pros and cons of candy corn for human consumption, we can all agree that it is NOT for pets. One of the best safety tips for pet owners is to make sure that candy and all other not-for-pet foods are kept in a container that pets can’t open and in a cupboard or on a shelf where they can’t reach. Never underestimate the abilities of a dog, cat, or another type of pet that wants what they can’t have. Much like children, they will go to great lengths to get things that are toxic for them just because it smells good or because they remember you eating it and enjoying it. Candy corn and other similar candies are made with pure sugar, including high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors, all of which can result in diarrhea or severe and painful gas in pets. Sugar feeds dangerous gut bacteria, which can cause water to be pulled into the colon and cause upset stomach, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Dangerous Candy #2 – Wrapped Treats

While the candy on the inside is usually harmful, such as chocolates or caramels, the outer wrappings are even more hazardous to pets. Most dogs and cats won’t stop to unwrap the treat but will go ahead and eat the candies wrappers and all. Think about the type of wrapped treats that are available during this time of year. Foil wrappers, plastic wrappers, and other materials can pose a health risk, causing an obstruction in the intestines, or even irritate the lining of the GI tract. While pets can pass these wrappers in some cases without a problem, you should keep all wrapped treats away from pets and consult with your animal hospital in Dartmouth if you suspect that treats of any kind have been consumed. Pet owners in Westport should know where to get emergency vet care for pets when they need it.

Dangerous Candy #3 – Chocolate-Covered Raisins

Chocolate is toxic to most pets, regardless of the species or breed. The consumption of chocolate is warned against year after year, but sadly, many pet owners in Westport ignore it. Either they previously had a pet that “was fine” after eating chocolate, or they don’t consider it to be a risk. However, when you combine chocolate with raisins, it can become deadly. Raisins, as well as grapes and other grape-based products, can result in severe kidney failure. Even if it seems as though your pet is not interest in grapes or raisins, one of the best safety tips for pet owners is to keep them in a sealed container and out of reach. Combining chocolate and raisins to make this popular treat can create a fatal mixture that could result in severe diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and kidney failure. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has consumed chocolate-covered raisins.

Dangerous Candy #4 – Sugar-Free Candies

Sugar can be hazardous to pets, but sugar-free candies can be fatal. Sugar-free gum is one of the most significant dangers to pets, as people often leave it in an open purse, on a table or countertop, or dispose of it by spitting it out on the ground in public places. Sugar-free gum usually contains a sugar substitute called Xylitol, which is safe for human consumption, but deadly for cats and dogs. Xylitol results in an extreme drop in blood sugar within minutes of ingestion. The symptoms of poisoning from Xylitol can include lethargy, inability to walk, and even severe seizures. This is usually followed by liver damage and potentially fatal liver failure. Many vets agree that sugar-free candies and gum that contain Xylitol are by far the most dangerous type of candy for pets. Bring your cat, dog or other pet in for emergency vet care for pets to Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth or your closest urgent vet center right away if you suspect that they have ingested sugar-free foods.

Dangerous Candy #5 – Hard Candies

Multiple dangers lurk in hard candies, such as popular fruit-flavored, sour, and mint varieties. Not only are they filled with sugars, which cause a lot of ailments, but they are a severe choking hazard. When combined with your pet’s saliva, these treats become very slippery and can make their way into the windpipe, preventing oxygen from getting into your pet’s lungs. People like to “display” dishes of hard candy at parties or events this time of year. Resist the urge to do so and make sure your pet stays away from sweets of all types. Pet owners in Westport should do a “clean sweep” of their home and property after handing out Halloween candy or hosting a party. Sometimes candies get dropped on porches, driveways, and yards by excited children and guests.

Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth

Read more of our seasonal safety tips for pet owners and do everything you can to keep your pet safe this holiday season. Pet owners in Westport can contact our office to schedule check-up appointments or learn more about our emergency services by calling 508-996-3731.