This Halloween, worry about real pet risks, not fake dangers - Dr. Marty Becker

This Halloween, worry about real pet risks, not fake dangers

Monday, Oct 23rd, 2017 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Can we stop worrying about fake Halloween pet dangers and focus on the ones that are real?

Fake: That people adopt black cats from shelters to perform satanic rituals.

Real: Hundreds of thousands of cats die in shelters each year because they’re not adopted.

Fake: That even the tiniest amount of chocolate will kill your dog. (Not totally untrue, just vastly over-hyped.)

Real: Xylitol, a low-glycemic natural sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candy, ice cream, baked goods, and even foods like peanut butter can and can kill your dog even in a minuscule amount.

My advice as an animal lover: Adopt a pet at any time of year that works for you and your family, and encourage your friends to do that same. Find pets near you by searching at The Shelter Pet Project.

My advice as a veterinarian: If you have dogs, read labels and keep anything containing xylitol out of the house. And yes, chocolate in large quantities, or smaller quantities for a small dog, can make your dog sick. But it’s nothing compared to the danger posted by xylitol!

Happy Halloween!