Halloween Candy: What’s Safe for Horses and Dogs?

Before you share peppermints, licorice, chocolate, Skittles or other sugary holiday treats, find out what’s safe to feed your equine and canine pals.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Nutrena

Festive snapshots via Instagram: @retrieverloverstore and @sffequestrian

It’s the time of year when ghosts and goblins are out and about. There are Halloween costume contests and pumpkin spice everything and the candy! So. Much. Candy.

But what’s safe for our horses and dogs? Can they participate in the fun, or will the candy make them sick? Most dog owners know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but would you know what to do if your pup helps himself to that bowl of peanut butter cups? Our horses love sugary snacks, but what’s really safe for them to have and what’s not?

What can horses have for a Halloween snack? Of course, for any horses with insulin resistance diseases, gastric ulcers or other medical conditions, you should stick with only what your vet suggests for treats and feed. However, will the occasional candy corn hurt your “normal” horse? Probably not, but keep in mind candy (mints included) have more sugar in them than just one sugar cube, so keep the Halloween treats to a minimum and keep your horse away from anything chocolate. The safest thing is just giving your horse a carrot, which he will love just as much!

For the age-old discussion of dogs and chocolate , first off, if you know your dog has ingested chocolate, call your vet. Depending on the type of chocolate and the size of your dog, you may need to bring them in right away. Cocoa powder is the most toxic type of chocolate and white chocolate is the least. Depending on your situation, your vet might suggest you induce vomiting. If you aren’t sure if they ingested it, you should watch your dog for signs of chocolate toxicity – things like vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and restlessness. When in doubt, go to your nearest emergency vet clinic.

Including chocolate, really no candy is truly safe for your dog. Many other types of candy, such as gum, contain a sweetener called xylitol that can cause liver failure in dogs. It’s best to stick to dog-specific treats if you want to give your dog something fun for the holiday.

Be Prepared In the unfortunate event that your animal does get into the sugary treats, have emergency phone numbers on hand.

Poison Help 800-222-1222 and ASPCA 888-426-4435...

Happy Halloween everyone!