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Boo! Keeping your pets safe from toxic treats

10/09/2009

As Halloween approaches, and we all stock up on candy and other treats, don’t forget that some of this tasty stuff can be highly toxic to our animal companions. 

-Chocolate isn't safe for dogs, but they love it! Most of us have a lot of chocolate around the house as Halloween and the holidays approach - if you have a dog, remember to keep your chocolate in lockdown. Don’t leave it out on the kitchen counter, coffee table, or elsewhere around your home, since an enterprising dog will go to great lengths to snatch this delicious-smelling stuff. Baking chocolate is particularly dangerous, so never leave it out when you are busy whipping up tasty desserts.

-Xylitol. This sugar substitute, found in sugar-free candy, gum, baked goods and other desserts, as well as in a powdered form for baking, is extremely dangerous to dogs. A dog who ingests xylitol is at risk of dangerously low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, and death. Check for xylitol in the ingredients of any gum or treats in your home, and keep anything containing this substance closed away in a high cabinet. Make sure to warn the kids too, since their canine friend may try to convince them to share. 

-Grapes and raisins. Because these can cause kidney failure in dogs, never give your companion grapes, raisins, or anything that contains them. This includes breads and cakes that contain raisins as well.

If you ever think that your dog may have eaten anything on this list, or another potentially toxic substance, immediately call an animal poison control line, such as the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. And don’t forget to keep your pets safely in the house around Halloween time, when the tendency for mischief-making might put your furry friends at risk.

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Excellent advice Dr. Murray, glad to see your doing so well. Happy Halloween!

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