Halloween is the perfect holiday for any person with a sweet tooth, whatever their age. But there is one individual in your home who should be kept away from chocolate at all costs: your four-legged family member. As any veterinarian will tell you, cats and dogs can get seriously ill from consuming chocolate. Here’s what you should know to keep your pet safe this October.
What Is Chocolate Toxicity?
Chocolate contains methylxanthines, specifically caffeine and theobromine. Human bodies can break down and excrete these substances without issue. Dogs and cats, however, can’t process these ingredients in the same way, so they build up and result in various medical complications.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in both cats and dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, and a racing heart rate. Advanced signs include cardiac failure, seizures, and coma. Without treatment, these complications can be fatal.
How to Protect Pets
Keep Halloween candy out of reach of pets, stored in a closed cabinet. If you have children, explain the dangers that sweet treats pose to your family pet. You don’t want your child unknowingly sneaking a chocolate to your pup or kitten.
Even with the most stringent precautions, curious cats and dogs may find their way into a chocolate stash—for instance, by rifling through a guest’s handbag. If this happens, call your veterinarian right away.
Try to figure out how much and what type of chocolate was ingested. Darker chocolate generally has a higher methylxanthine content, presenting greater danger. This information can help your veterinarian decide how to proceed.
If you’re worried your pet has eaten chocolate, bring them to the compassionate pet care professionals at Wahiawa Pet Hospital in Hawaii. Focusing exclusively on cats and dogs, these veterinarians provide cutting-edge services in state-of-the-art facilities tailored to the needs of these animals. As a smaller pet hospital, they give their full attention to every patient they treat. Get an overview of their services, including specialized services like pet boarding and orthopedic surgery, online. To schedule an appointment, call (808) 621-7000.