TRICK OR TREAT? The dangers of sharing Halloween candy with your dog - InfoNews

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TRICK OR TREAT? The dangers of sharing Halloween candy with your dog

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November 01, 2018 - 5:30 PM

Even if your dog is enviously watching you enjoy your Kit Kat, the SPCA recommends not sharing your Halloween candy with your furry best friend.

Halloween is a particularly busy time of year for veterinarians especially pertaining to emergencies, says B.C. SPCA senior manager of animal health Emilia Gordon.

"On Halloween there's a couple things that tend to happen," Gordon says. "And they are: Dogs eat chocolate and other types of candy and treats; dogs ingesting marijuana is very common after Halloween; and dogs getting out and injured because of fireworks."

Chocolate contains a chemical called "theobromine" which is toxic to dogs and can attack their central nervous system. It works in conjunction with the caffeine in chocolate to stimulate their nervous system and depending on the dosage can affect their heart, Gordon says.

The signs of theobromine toxicity depends on the dog's size, and how much chocolate was ingested. Some symptoms may include: an upset stomach; hyperactivity; vomit and diarrhea that might smell like chocolate; shaking; and seizures.

"It's important to tell the vet right away and not wait and see if your dog shows symptoms," Gordon says. "Because sometimes the vet can do something like induce vomiting or something to prevent it from becoming a more serious problem."

WHAT ABOUT CANDIES THAT DON'T CONTAIN CHOCOLATE?

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Not all candies contain chocolate, but Gordon says that doesn't mean they are OK for your pet.

"No candies are safe for dogs," Gordon says. "Even if they don't have chocolate in them they have fat or sugar which can be hard for dogs to digest and upset their stomach."

She further explains that some plain human food in small quantities is OK to give dogs as treats.

"But we don't usually recommend giving things that are highly fatty, or highly salty, or that may be presented in conjunction with things like chocolate or raisins or artificial sweeteners which are also toxic for dogs."

If you want to include your beloved dog in Halloween festivities, Gordon recommends buying peanut butter-based dog treats.

The SPCA released today a list of fruits that are also safe to give as treats, and some that are toxic with potential to cause kidney failure.

Human treats your dog can enjoy in moderation

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  • Bananas – these are rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Make sure you’ve completely removed the peel as it is difficult for your dog to digest and, in turn may cause a blockage – depending on your dog’s size, and the amount they have consumed.
  • Blueberries – blueberries are high in antioxidants and low in calories.
  • Kiwi – like bananas, kiwi fruit is a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
  • Pineapple – pineapple is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense treat for your furry friend. It’s also a great option to give to your dog frozen, especially on a hot day!
  • Strawberries – strawberries offer great benefits, like fiber and have a high-water content – just make sure you remove the stems before giving them to your dog.

Your dog can consume these with caution

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  • Apples – never give your dog an apple unless the seeds and the core have been removed. Make sure the pieces they are receiving are chewable.
  • Oranges – oranges are quite high in natural sugars, so feed this to your dog in moderation. Watch for any seeds that may be present in the fruit; make sure they are removed before treating your pup to a piece.
  • Peaches – peach pits can cause intestinal blockages, so make sure they’re fully removed before giving them to your dog. Don’t share canned or preserved peaches with your dog as they contain high amounts of sugar. They may have also been treated with artificial sweeteners – like Xylitol – that are not good for dogs.

Never give your dog

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  • Lemons – dogs don’t like sour or bitter tastes, so it’s best to refrain from giving this fruit to them.
  • Avocados – the presence of persin, a toxin in avocados, can cause stomach upset in some dogs. An avocado pit can also cause an obstruction, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
  • Cherries – the pits, stems and leaves of cherries all contain cyanide, which is toxic and can cause poisoning in dogs if consumed in large quantities. Even if you’ve removed the pit, cherries can lead to gastrointestinal upset in dogs. And maraschino cherries are also a big no, as they have been sweetened with tons of sugar.
  • Grapes and raisins – grapes and raisins contain an unidentified toxin which is dangerous to dogs; the unidentified toxin can cause kidney failure.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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