Trick or treats? What you can and cannot give your pets this Halloween

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Halloween is one of the biggest holidays worldwide, but how involved can your furry friends get in your festivities? With dogs accounting for 95% of chocolate consumption calls to pet poison hotlines, Trusted Housesitters looked into the five most popular questions around what our pets can eat during Halloween, and offered advice on how to keep your pets safe. 

  1. Can dogs eat popcorn? (5.4k searches a month)

Yes! Popcorn makes a great snack for both dogs and cats. However, this is just for plain popcorn: stay clear of popcorn with added caramel/syrup as this can be harmful to them

  1. Can cats eat pumpkin? (3.9k searches a month)

This search is at its highest peak of the year between 24th-30th October. The answer is yes! Pets can enjoy some pumpkin this year without fear of poisoning. However, there is a but as raw pumpkin is harder to digest and should be avoided for both cats and dogs. Be careful not to confuse canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie mix as this can upset a dog’s stomach.

Dogs and cats can also eat pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds. As cats have more delicate digestion tracks, make sure the seeds are ground up before feeding to smaller cats and kittens to avoid choking hazards.

But are there health benefits to pumpkins for pets? Pumpkins contain vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron and potassium. Feeding canned or cooked pumpkin gives a great boost to your pet’s diet. Due to its high soluble fiber content, pumpkin is very good for your pet’s digestion.

  1. Can dogs eat sweets? (1.1k searches a month) 

Like humans, dogs have taste buds that crave sweet foods. However, while sugar isn’t poisonous to cats and dogs, it isn’t healthy for them, just as it isn’t for humans.

  1. Can my dog or cat eat apples? (1.1k searches)

Yes, both dogs and cats can eat apples. They are a brilliant source of vitamin A and C and full of fiber. They are best given as a snack or treat in small amounts or as a puree and are perfect for if you have a senior pet, as they are low in fat. Other fruits that dogs and cats can eat include bananas and blueberries.

  1. How much chocolate is poisonous to dogs? (480 searches a month)

Between the 1st-7th November this search spikes, which shows the panic pet owners face after their dogs have got into the trick-or-treat bowl. Consuming more than half an ounce per pound of body weight may put your dog at risk for chocolate poisoning.

Cocoa contains the compound theobromine, which is toxic to animals at certain doses. While most pet owners are more concerned about their dog eating chocolate, it’s just as important that you prevent chocolate ingestion in your cat.

Angela Laws, award-winning community manager of TrustedHousesitters, said, “This Halloween, keep your trick-or-treat bowl full of sweets and chocolate away from your pets. But if you have some leftover pumpkin, treat your dog or cat to some cooked pumpkin for dinner, or some pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack!”

This is a guest post by Trusted Housesitters. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk.

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