Help! My Dog Ate My Halloween Candy!

Here's what to do if your dog ate some candy.

dog ate chocolate halloween candy

Did your dog eat Halloween candy? If they did, contact your veterinarian ASAP before reading this.

Forget grisly ghosts and ghastly ghouls — candy is the scariest thing your dog can encounter during the spooky season. So, should you worry if your dog ate Halloween candy when you weren't looking? The answer is yes.

Veterinarians everywhere see an uptick in candy-related toxicity cases during Halloween — and it’s not surprising with all the candy you probably have stashed around the house for trick-or-treaters or for yourself.

Why is Halloween candy toxic for dogs?

“The most common toxic ingestions I've encountered are chocolate and xylitol-containing candies,” Dr. Paul Cunningham, senior emergency clinician at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Michigan, told The Dodo.

According to Dr. Cunningham, chocolate toxicity can cause hyperexcitation, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some more serious cases, life-threatening muscle tremors, seizures or heart arrhythmias.

“This depends on the type of chocolate (milk vs. dark chocolate) as well as the chocolate content of the candy,” Dr. Cunningham said.

Xylitol is a common sugar substitute most often found in mints and gums, and some peanut butter. According to Dr. Cunningham, it “can cause severe drops in blood sugar and in some cases can cause liver injury or failure.”

AKA — keep these candies AWAY from your dogs.

The best thing pet owners can do is play it safe.

“Store candy in high cabinets, out of reach of pets, and if your pet ingests a concerning candy, don't wait to seek help — call a veterinarian or a pet poison control hotline for advice,” Dr. Cunningham recommended.

While dogs can’t eat human Halloween candy, you can pick up Halloween-themed and pumpkin-flavored treats that are made just for dogs. That way, they can celebrate the holiday alongside you with treats that are safe to consume.