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Friendly Halloween Reminder: Keep Dogs and Chocolate Apart

October 20th, 2014 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Two Castle Rock dogs dressed for Halloween

In some years during Halloween, the Pet Poison Helpline sees a 200+% jump in calls related to dogs and chocolate.

Yikes!

Whether you’re buying bags of candy to hand out to local Castle Rock children or you’ve got some trick-or-treaters of your own, here are some friendly reminders to help keep your pup safe this Halloween.

A local dog’s adventures with Hershey’s Kisses®

Meet Salvador Doggie — or “Sal,” for short.

Sal is a 14-pound Miniature Pinscher who lives in The Woodlands neighborhood of Castle Rock with his pet parents.

This Miniature Pinscher got chocolate poisoning from eating a bag of chocolates.

Dogs are highly attracted to the smell of chocolate, and Sal is no exception.

A few years ago, while Sal’s parent was at work, crafty Sal worked his way into her home office.

He discovered half of a one-pound bag of Hershey Kisses, and he helped himself to some treats.

When Sal’s parent returned home several hours later, she immediately knew something wasn’t right.

Sal was extremely hyperactive — “100 times more than usual” — and she could feel his heart racing.

Sal’s strange behavior, combined with the silver wrappers on the floor of her office, indicated it was time for an emergency visit to the vet.

Thankfully, after a one-night hospitalization, Sal survived. He’s happy and healthy today!

Key takeaways and tips

We asked Dr. Melanie to share a few essential things that pet parents should know about dogs and chocolate, and here’s what she had to say:

  • The darker the chocolate is… the more dangerous is it to your dog.
  • Dogs are drawn to the smell and taste of chocolate, so be careful where you set your Halloween candy in your house.
  • It’s important to catch chocolate ingestion quickly. If you think your dog ate some chocolate, call a veterinarian immediately. If you catch it quickly and your dog ate enough chocolate to make it dangerous, our veterinary clinic can give your dog something to make him or her throw up. Otherwise, more advanced measures will likely need to be taken.
  • If you aren’t sure whether your dog ate chocolate, some signs to look for are: hyperactivity, a racing heartbeat, throwing up, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, an elevated thirst or even seizures.

Useful articles on dogs and chocolate poisoning

The Pet Poison Hotline has some wonderful information for pet parents on dogs and chocolate poisoning.

We’re sharing several of their articles below, so you can learn even more:

  • Chocolate Poisoning: This article explains why chocolate is problematic for dogs and which chocolates are the worst.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on dogs and chocolate this Halloween. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)

© 2014, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

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