Did you know pups can have a sweet tooth, too? With Halloween coming up this weekend, we know the risk of dogs eating dangerous candies is at an all time high. We get it, no matter how careful we can be, Halloween candy is everywhere and Fido is a professional candy sniffer.
So, what happens if he does scarf down a Reese's cup, or gets into the sour gummy worms? First things first, don’t panic! Call your vet immediately upon realizing your dog has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, and they will be able to direct you in the right direction.
Be prepared to answer a few questions to help choose the best plan of action:
- What exactly did they eat?
- Do you have the wrapper with the ingredients list?
- How much did they eat?
- Was their wrapping on the candy?
- How long ago did they consume it?
- What is their weight (estimate)
Based on these questions, a trained professional will advise you on where to bring your dog for the best treatment.
Different candies have different dangers, so trying to figure out exactly what they ate is important to creating a treatment plan!
Chocolate: Chocolate contains a toxic ingredient called theobromine. The toxicity of theobromine depends on the quantity of theobromine consumed and the weight of your pup. Different types of chocolate have varying levels of theobromine, so whether it was milk chocolate candy or unsweetened dark chocolate, or if your dog weighs 12lbs or 80lbs, it will make a difference. Any dose of theobromine over 20mg/kg can6 Ques cause mild toxicity symptoms, 40mg/kg can cause more severe cardiac toxicity, and any does over 60 mg/kg can cause seizures.
Here are a few examples of theobromine levels
- White contains close to no theobromine in it!
- Milk chocolate contains around 44 mg of theobromine per oz
- Dark chocolate around 130mg per oz
- Unsweetened baking chocolate can contain up to 450 mg per oz
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity usually appear between 6-12 hrs after consumption, and include:
- Increased urination
- Elevated or abnormal heart rate
No matter how much you think your pup ate, make sure to call your vet ASAP to get a professional recommendation.
Hard candy or Gummies: Hard candies and gummies are also quite dangerous for your pup. To start, many of these candies contain Xylitol, which is extremely toxic to your pups. Commonly used as an artificial sweetener, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that can be found in many sugar-free products, but is not limited to them. Any amount of ingested Xylitol should be reported to your vet as soon as you realize it has happened.
Symptoms of Xylitol toxicity can present themselves in as little as 10-30 minutes, and include:
Another reason hard candies and gummies are dangerous are their tendency to clump together in your dog’s stomach, causing obstruction in their digestive system! Obstructions can lead to a decrease in blood flow and an absorption of toxic materials from their bowels. If you did not notice your dog getting into anything out of the ordinary, but your pup is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, showing signs of weakness, has a loss of appetite, bloating, abdominal pain, or hunching wincing, call your vet right away!
Finally, your pup can also get extremely sick from a high dose of sugar. Sugar is osmotically active, meaning water is attracted to it, so it will pull water from their digestive systems and can cause dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.
Symptoms of a sugar overdose include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
An excess in sugar over time can cause weight gain, diabetes, or pancreatitis, so it is best to avoid it in general for your pup!
Honorable mentions: Wrappers & foils
Wrappers and foils can also cause gastrointestinal irritation, and may even become lodged in your pet’s throat or intestinal tract, usually resulting in a foreign body removal surgery. Look out for these laying around the house, too! Even without candy, they sure still smell tasty and your dog could try to eat it, anyways.
If you know or even suspect your pup got into the Halloween candy, give us a call ASAP at (720) 730-8890! We will be able to help guide you through the next steps.