Any time of year, consuming chocolate can be life threatening to pets, but the risks are greater around Halloween, when bags of candy can be found just about everywhere. “It’s especially tempting for dogs,” says Dr. Kelly Ryan, director of veterinary services at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America. “It seems to taste as good to them as it does to us.”
Warning signs your pet may have consumed chocolate include seizures and vomiting and diarrhea, says Dr. Ashley Rossman, owner of Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital in Glenview, Illinois. Dogs who have eaten chocolate may also appear hyper and overly excitable. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has swallowed any chocolate and, if possible, try to identify what type of chocolate was consumed. Dark chocolates are especially dangerous, Ryan says.
Even if you and your family already ate all of the chocolate, you still want to keep the trick-or-treating bag far from pets. Eating too much candy of any sort can cause gastrointestinal upset, which can be a nasty experience for you and your pet, Ryan says. There’s also the concern that your pet could choke on an inedible item, like a lollipop stick or candy wrappers.