Pet Care

A Spooky Halloween: Chocolate Toxicity


Nurse Annie

31 Oct 2023

📖 Key Takeaways

  • Halloween festivities bring a chocolate peril to pets

  • Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate are toxic to pets, with dark chocolate being the most dangerous

  • Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, coma or death

  • Chocolate is also rich in sugars and fats - which can cause stomach upsets and pancreatitis

  • Prevention is paramount: secure sweets, educate guests, and provide pet-safe treats

  • In case of a mishap, have emergency contacts ready; Fetch offers a 24/7 veterinary helpline in-app

  • Fetch pet insurance also covers chocolate toxicity

Beware of Chocolate Toxicity this Halloween

As Halloween approaches, it’s such an exciting time for some families. It’s important to remember the risks chocolate poses to your pets. Chocolate contains toxic substances called theobromine and caffeine. Here's a brief guide to why pets shouldn’t have chocolate and how to prevent them from eating it.

🐈‍⬛ Why is chocolate so dangerous?

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to pets but not us humans (phew!). Dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder have the highest theobromine content, followed by milk chocolate, while white chocolate contains very little.

Pet at Halloween
Pet at Halloween
Pet at Halloween

Fetch pet insurance covers the cost of treating your pet if they've accidentally eaten chocolate

🎃 Signs of chocolate toxicity

It’s important to recognize symptoms of a chocolate toxicity to ask fast. Symptoms include; vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, hyperactivity, seizures, rapid breathing, high body temperature, muscle stiffness and coma (in severe cases). Even small amounts of chocolate can cause your pet to become ill. In addition to toxicity, the fats and sugars in chocolate can lead to stomach upsets and pancreatitis. Seek immediate vet advice following ingestion of chocolate.

👻 How can I prevent a chocolate toxicity?

Store chocolate products away from pets, inform guests and family about the danger of chocolate. Offer pet-safe treats and toys.

Pet not allowed to eat chocolate
Pet not allowed to eat chocolate
Pet not allowed to eat chocolate

🍬 Are wrappers harmful too?

Generally, when pets eat chocolate they don’t bother to remove the wrappers! Ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause a life-threatening bowel obstructions, which if severe, can require surgical intervention to correct. Watch for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy.

🕸️ What do I do if I suspect my pet has ingested chocolate?

Have your veterinarian's contact information ready. It’s important to remember small amounts of chocolate can cause harm. Remember we have a 24/7 veterinary helpline in the treatment section of your app should you need advice or help.
Ensuring the safety of our pets during Halloween is important, with temptations all around! Staying informed and taking preventative steps is key.