We love Halloween! From the cool and creative costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, and (let’s be honest) the candy, Halloween can be a fun time for everyone. But, there are many hazards that our pets face during these fall festivities.
Chocolate is toxic to pets
Chocolate is one of the most toxic treats we find on Halloween. Containing naturally-occurring plant chemicals caffeine and theobromine, these stimulants are very toxic to dogs, cats, and most exotic pets. A general rule of thumb is that the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is (baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate being the worst offenders). We strongly recommend seeking emergency care with chocolate ingestion before the onset of signs of illness. PetMD provides a free online toxicity calculator here, however we strongly recommend calling our hospital or Metro Animal Emergency Clinic for assistance. Estimating chocolate content in baked goods and other products can sometimes be tricky, and if your pet has a pre-existing heart condition they may be at a greater risk of developing complications.
Signs of chocolate toxicity include hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures, tachycardia (abnormally high heart rate), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm), vomiting, and diarrhea.
By Christina Miller RVT, BSc