Halloween Candy and Dogs:  It’s Not Just Chocolate That Can Be Deadly

Supplement Dog Training With Knowledge

Dog Training can be helpful when it comes to dogs getting into things they shouldn’t, but what if your furry family member gets into your kid’s Halloween haul? Should you panic?  Continue reading to see what may warrant a call to the poison control center, an emergency vet visit, and what might require a simple watchful eye.

There are a few other products commonly found in candy other than chocolate that may be harmful to dogs if ingested, and we will cover the other deadly culprits below. Everyone has heard that chocolate is poisonous for dogs, but not many people understand why.  Dogs actually aren’t negatively effected by eating chocolate itself, rather the cause for concern around chocolate and dogs is a compound called Theobromine (you didn’t think you were going to get a bonus chemistry lesson, did you?)

FUN FACT:  Theobromine is also found in tea, cola beverages, and acai berries.  Unlike humans, dogs metabolize Theobromine very slowly, allowing the compound to build up in their systems.  Theobromine can cause cardiac arythmias, internal bleeding, and seizures in high enough doses so it is important to know what symptoms to look out for.

Puppy Training
Halloween Candy And Dogs

If you happen to wake up the morning after Halloween and walk into the kitchen where your dog is surrounded by torn up candy wrappers and the most guilty face ever, it is important to stay calm and make a few important observations.  First remove your pup from the potential of ingesting any more potentially fatal sweets and treats.  Then look around the crime scene to determine two things:  WHAT, and HOW MUCH do you suspect your furry friend has eaten, and remember….innocent until proven guilty!

Candies Safe In Smaller Quantities:

  • Skittles
  • Sour Candies
  • Lolly Pops
  • Candy Corn
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Smarties

Candies Unsafe In Larger Quantities:

  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Milk Chocolate Bars
  • M&M’s
  • Reese’s
  • Kit Kat
  • Butterfinger
  • Twix

Other Items That Aren’t Safe In Any Quantity:

  • Xylitol
  • Bubble Gum
  • Raisinetes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts

Xylitol Kills More Dogs Than Chocolate

Don’t forget to be on the lookout for candies and gums containing Xylitol.  Xylitol is actually in many low calorie or unsweetened products and is highly toxic to dogs.  It can lead to liver failure, seizures, and low blood pressure in dogs and is commonly overlooked when diagnosing these symptoms!

Toxicity Symptoms

Symptoms of chocolate and Xylitol toxicity can sometimes take hours to be apparent so it is important to take the necessary precautions right away if you suspect that your pup has ingested chocolate, artificial sweeteners, raisins, or macadamia nuts.  If you have sufficient evidence of ingestion, contact a veterinarian or animal poison control immediately.  In some cases, it may be too late to save your pet’s life if you wait for symptoms to show up.


Animal poison control: (888) 426-4435 


If your dog has ingested a few items in the ‘safer’ category, you will most likely see signs of an upset tummy leading to vomiting or diarrhea, and excess urination.  These should be encouraged as they are mechanisms the body uses to evacuate toxins.

Don’t let this information stop you from enjoying a fun night out, and remember to put your candy in a safe place away from Fido’s reach.  We will be providing useful dog training information in our upcoming posts so stay tuned and Happy Howl-oween!

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