The Dangers of Halloween Candy for Pets

It’s that time of year again! Autumn is here, and the pumpkins are plentiful. Shopping for outrageous pet costumes has begun. Grocery stores have whole aisles filled with Halloween candy and decor. While Halloween is a fun and exciting time for families, our pets can be left at risk for stress, getting lost, and eating things that are bad for them. We want to help you avoid unwelcome scares this Halloween. Be sure you protect your cat or dog with our Halloween safety tips below.


There are some factors that can make eating chocolate a real emergency for your dog. How your dog handles the ingestion of chocolate is affected by what kind of chocolate they ate, how much, their body weight, and physical conditions. 

The key ingredient that adversely affects dogs in chocolate is theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. If your chihuahua eats a whole box of chocolate bars, it would be a good idea to see a vet immediately. On the other hand, if your Saint Bernard scarfs down a mini-sized crackle bar, your dog likely won’t show any adverse reactions. Use common sense when deciding if you should seek a veterinarian’s help for your dog’s safety this Halloween. 


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in many hard candies, gum, and mints. It is perfectly safe for humans to eat, but is fatal even in small quantities for dogs. Every year, hundreds of dogs die from ingesting foods made with Xylitol. For your dog’s safety this Halloween, take all steps necessary to keep candy, gum, and human treats out of the reach of your pets at all times.


We don’t understand it, either: some households give out raisins to kids for treats. While not the most exciting Halloween treat, there are significant risks in this unassuming “nature’s candy”, especially when considering the chocolate-covered versions. Raisins and grapes can lead to acute kidney failure if enough are ingested. It is best for Halloween safety if your dog doesn’t come into contact with them. 

Candy with Wrappers

The most popular candies and chocolates for trick-or-treaters are the fun-sized versions of classic candy. When your dog comes across these, they have no way to remove the wrapper and can scarf the entire treat and package down whole. While it is possible that the wrappers can pass through the digestive system and not cause problems, there is also the chance that the plastic or foil can become lodged in the intestines or cause a complete block of the digestive system. 


Popular Halloween decorations can include items that are tempting for your pet to eat, like fake spider webs, pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. These foreign objects can also cause blocks in the intestines and create serious problems. Keep them out of reach or separate your dog from them when you leave the house.

Have a fun and safe Halloween with your dog this year! Visit the Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s Adopt & Shop to find your pet a cute costume, adopt a pet, or donate today.