By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor
Today we will be talking about the scary side of Halloween! Xylitol, chocolate, decorations that can be swallowed, and creepy monsters that can spook our furry friend. It is very important to keep in mind that what we consider fun can be scary for your pet.
Xylitol is one of the scariest things your dog can get its mouth on. It can be found in gum, granulated powder for cooking, candies, mint, toothpaste, mouthwash, it can be found in anything that contains the smallest amount of sugar. Any amount that is ingested can be fatal. Some of the symptoms can be vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases liver failure. The scary part is that there are some sugar-free gums that will show no symptoms for up to 12hrs! If you suspect your pet ingested xylitol its best to rush it to the emergency room. This scary chemical can also be found in chocolate. Everyone who has had or has a dog knows to keep chocolate away, especially dark chocolate. Some symptoms of chocolate poisoning is extreme thirst, pacing, diarrhea, shaking and seizures. These symptoms can last up to 72hrs. During the day of Halloween it is vital that we keep anything slightly sweet away from our pets. Especially if you’re pet has a sweet tooth.
During holidays we keep an eye on our little kids just in case they want to grab a small decoration that can be swallowed, this must also be done with our pets especially puppies. Dogs explore their world using their 5 senses and especially their sense of taste. Anything small that is new to them they will sniff, lick, and possibly try to eat it. This is of course is a choking hazard. We don’t want anything lodging the intestines of our pets because that can result in a pricey vet bill that could have been avoided. Keep any decorations out of reach or in a container so it isn’t easily accessible to your kids or your furry kids.
Another danger is people in costumes. We understand that these ghouls and goblins roaming the streets are not real but to our pets they are! There are two ways our pets can react, they can either run or fight. They will try to remove themselves from the scary situation by running far away and in any direction they can which is a great risk. Keep your dog indoors either in a crate or in a room and let them sit this holiday out because we don’t want our pet fighting the “scary monster” either!
As social animals ourselves sometimes we want to include our dogs in events but our pets do not perceive the world the same as we do so it is important that if there is a slight possibility of our pets getting hurt, scared, or protective its best to give them a quiet evening to themselves. They would enjoy that a lot more! If you are worried that your dog ingested something call the ASPCA 24hr poison hotline: 888-426-4435.
Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!