What to Do If Your Dog Eats Halloween Candy?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Julia Zavalishina/Shutterstock

Dogs will munch on pretty much anything, if they get a chance. Literally, they have no standards – I mean, they do  eat their own poop. Sometimes, though, their questionable eating choices are not just weird or plain disgusting – they can be unsafe. Your pooch simply won’t realize that something they are keen on eating can be dangerous for them, so you’ll have to take precautions to keep them away from forbidden snacks. This is particularly true during Halloween! This time of the year, candies are all over the place so you should be extra careful to prevent your dog from accessing your sweet stash. Despite anyone’s best efforts, though, accidents happen and your dog can get some of your Halloween candy. What should you do in this case? Is it a reason for worry? Let’s find out. 

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Halloween Candy?

If your dog eats Halloween candy, it's important to take immediate action to ensure their safety, as many of these candies can be toxic to dogs. They are simply meant for human consumption and can contain chemicals and ingredients that are safe for us but toxic for our pets. 

In case you notice your pet ate some of your Halloween candy, don’t panic. First, try to assess the situation in a composed manner. Try to determine what candy and how much of it your dog has consumed. Different candies have varying levels of toxicity, and the amount ingested can be a significant factor in the severity of the problem. It will go a long way to examine the wrapper or the box, if possible. It should have all the ingredients listed. 

If you suspect or know that the candy in question is not safe for consumption by dogs, you should, naturally, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal poison control hotline (such as the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435) immediately. They can provide guidance based on the specific candy ingested and your dog's size and breed. Be prepared to provide details about the type and amount of candy your dog ate.

Needless to say, you should observe your dog and their behavior. If they consume something that is potentially toxic, there should be telltale signs that something is wrong. So keep a close eye on your dog for any unusual symptoms. Signs of candy toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, lethargy, tremors, seizures, rapid heart rate, and even collapse. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of candy and the toxins involved. Remember, do not try to induce vomiting in your dog unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian or the poison control hotline. Some candies, such as  chocolate, can be more harmful if the dog vomits.

Once you've spoken with a veterinarian or poison control, follow their guidance closely. Sometimes, items from your  first aid kit for dogs might be enough to resolve the issue – such as  activated charcoal – if they ate something that could disturb their tummy but isn’t toxic per se.

On the other hand, they may recommend bringing your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment. Of course, try to remain calm and quiet. Do not panic, as stress and commotion can only further frighten your pupper. Even if there is poisoning, remain calm even so. You will be able to act and react much better if you are cool-headed. Follow your vet’s instructions and the situation will be resolved as soon as possible. Panic can undo all that.

In the end, keep in mind that the best way to deal with candy consumption is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Keep Halloween candy and other potential hazards away from your dog, and ensure your home is dog-proofed to minimize the risk of accidental ingestion. It goes a long way to think ahead and keep all the treats far from the reach of pets. Find  special Halloween bowls with appropriate lids, which can’t be rummaged about so easily and can be kept on a shelf.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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