Chocolate--Mmmmm, how we love it!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
But it poses a serious danger to our pets. Chocolate is made from the fruit (beans) of the cacao tree. Theobromine, a component of chocolate, is a toxic compound in chocolate. Dogs are unable to metabolize the theobromine that is found in chocolate. Dark chocolates contain the highest levels of this compound, and are therefore the most toxic. Even small amounts can cause heart problems and vomiting. It takes only 8 ounces of milk chocolate (and 1.5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate) to cause toxicity in a 10-pound dog. For cats, the toxic doses are even lower.
Xylitol-Sugar Free sweetness
In dogs xylitol can cause a severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which can lead to seizures and death. It cans also cause liver failure. And it doesn't take much-even 1-2 pieces of xylitol sweetened gum can cause toxicity in a 20 pound dog.
Raisins-Sun Kissed Goodness
But not for pets! Few people realize that raisins (and grapes) can be toxic to some dogs. Ingestion of grapes or raisins has been associated with acute renal failure in dogs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cats may also be affected. The exact cause of renal toxicity is unknown.
Keep your pets confined
The constant ringing of the doorbell, followed by strangers dressed in truly frightening costumes? It's enough to put even the calmest of pets on edge. Consider giving your pet a quiet place inside the house to spend Halloween evening. And make certain that all your pets are wearing a collar with identification.