Can I Give My Dog Valentine’s Day Candy?
Chocolate and Other Candy “Don’ts”
Is it ever okay to give dogs candy?
Short answer: No.
Most people think dogs can eat anything, but that’s just not true. Keep in mind that dogs suffer many of the same health issues linked to dietary habits that humans do, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. You have to be careful about what you feed your canine friends, and that definitely includes avoiding candy. As Urban Dog’s resident vet, Dr. Christina Moore, says: “Candy, by its nature is full of sugar, and can cause severe stomach upset, gas, and diarrhea, if fed to dogs.”
With Valentine’s Day upon us you need to make sure to keep the sweets out of reach from your pooch. Here are some of the things you need to be alert to…
It’s pretty well-known that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. The Pet Poison Helpline gets more than 1,000 calls a year about exposure to chocolate, and 98% of those cals involve dogs. They write:
Many dogs are inherently attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, making it a significant threat. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. The chemicals in chocolate that are dangerous to pets, methylxanthines, are similar to caffeine and more heavily concentrated in the darker varieties. In fact, a 50-pound dog can be sickened by ingesting only one ounce of Baker’s chocolate! On the other hand, it may take up to eight ounces, (half a pound) of milk chocolate to cause poisoning in that same sized dog.
Also make sure your dog doesn’t get into chocolate-covered raisins or coffee beans. Raisins (and grapes) can cause severe kidney failure. Too much caffeine for Fido can result in a whole host of problems including hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, and seizures.
Take a look at the picture below. I think it’s a huge problem to show puppies on the packaging of Valentine’s Day chocolates! Some shoppers might thing it’s okay to give their dogs chocolate!
Candy with Wrappers
Foil wrappers in particular pose a health risk since they can cause an obstruction in the intestines. They can also irritate the lining of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Small Hard Candies and Nuts
Hard candy and nuts can easily be inhaled into your dog’s wind pipe, and that can cause choking.
Also, Macadamia Nuts, which are common in many candies, chocolates, and cookies can be toxic. Symptoms of exposure to Macadamias include listlessness, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, and pale gums.
Sugar Free Candy
Sugar free candy with the artificial sweetener Xylitol can be deadly if eaten by a dog. Xylitol causes a very severe drop in blood sugar that will occur almost immediately after ingestion. Dogs will become lethargic, unable to walk, and will have seizures. If they make it past the initial exposure they can suffer from severe liver damage or even fatal liver failure. Anything with Xylitol is the most dangerous type of candy for any pets.
So if you want to give your dog a special something on Valentine’s Day, stick with tried and true dog treats you get from your trusted pet store.
To learn more visit the Pet Poison Helpine.