funny chihuahua in her halloween gown
Waffles and Seashell in Dogo wings from DOG&CO

Like a child, one of the best parts of having a dog is dressing him up for Halloween. I can't speak for the rest of you but I have been buying costumes since August. Basically everyday is Halloween for me. My two Chihuahua's signature style are angel wings (see above). With all the fun comes some things to consider while trick-or-treating. Picture this typical scene - you proudly march your adorable kids and equally adorable pup(s) up to the front door of a house and sitting in front is a huge bowl candy...


If you haven't heard, chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. While humans may look at a 95% cacao chocolate bar and think more is more, when it comes to dogs, less is more. The order of toxicity in chocolate from LEAST to MOST is: white chocolate, milk chocolate, with dark chocolate being the most poisonous. The two ingredients in chocolate that are toxic to dogs are theobromine and caffeine. There are always dogs who ingest chocolate with or without their owner seeing it, and are completely fine but in most instances, the higher the dose, the greater the problem. For instance If my 9 pound dog eats a small individually wrapped milk chocolate bar she may get diarrhea while my 22 pound doodle may be completely fine. 


Remember that huge bowl of candy at the front door of a house? Your child is drawn the the bright colors while your dog is attracted to the smell. You might not even think about the wrappers but most dogs could swallow a bunch of those mini candies whole in the time it took you to say "trick-or-treat". A few wrappers will pass through the gastro-intestinal tract fairy quickly and easily but a few more could cause a blockage and/or even surgery. 


When I think Halloween, I immediately think candy corns. Candy corn seems innocent enough right? NO... WRONG ASNWER!!!! It isn't simply that sugar is bad for a dog's diet. That's actually the least of it. Candy corn can contain an ingredient called xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is fine for humans but toxic for dogs. A dog consuming xylitol can cause an extreme drop in blood sugar, which can cause seizures. This is why candy corn is often considered the most dangerous halloween pitfall. 


It's still unclear to researchers exactly why raisins (and grapes) are toxic to dogs but we know that they are. While they are considered "nature's candy" for humans, and often find their way into the halloween candy bowl as the healthy alternative, they are the opposite of that for our four-legged friends. Here is a test: "my dog can eat chocolate covered raisins?". I think you know the answer is a resounding "NO" and that they are double whammy of toxicity.

Questions? Comments? Photos? Please share! 

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