Now that the trunk or treats and the main event trick or treating is done it is time for the digestion of the candy. Whether you are taste testing your kid's candy or have some leftover from your own handing out it is important to keep chocolate and other candy ingredients out of the reach of dogs.
There are dangers other than chocolates and we go over all ingested poisons in our Pet CPR and First Aid classes but most of the Halloween candy, or at least the good kinds, have chocolate.
It is the theobromine in chocolate that is dangerous and possibly lethal to dogs. The darker the chocolate the higher the concentration. There is some debate over if white chocolate is safe for dogs as it includes little to no theobromine, but it is best to avoid it out of caution and who gives out white chocolate for Halloween.
With this in mind, the most lethal chocolate to dogs is pure cocoa powder. This is the highest concentration and is typically 95% dark. From there the next most lethal is baker's chocolate or the semi-dark. As it is unlikely anyone would give those out on Halloween that doesn't go into the storage of Halloween candy but if you have them in your home keep them on a top shelf in the pantry.
Most of the chocolate in Halloween candy is going to be milk. There is a sliding scale based on weight as to how dangerous it is to dogs. We will just say that if a 100 lbs lab happens to get one small bite-sized Snickers bar it is not good but not worth a trip to the vet and inducing vomiting for this could cause more harm than the chocolate. It is best to let the liver and kidneys take care of it in the 100 lbs lab. On the other hand, if a 10 lbs Yorkie were to ingest the same amount of chocolate you're going to want to get them to the vet. For a further in-depth discussion of this please sign-up for one of our Pet CPR and First Aid Classes.
With all this in mind, the best place to store your Halloween candy is in your stomach. There is little chance of your dog reaching it there. After that on top of the fridge or in the fridge is good or deep on the back of a countertop where few counter-surfing dogs can reach. Inside a closet or on a pantry shelf can work as well. Wherever you store your or your kids' Halloween candy it is best that it is out of reach of dogs, but if they do get into it in an amount that can cause serious problems hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting, and if you don't have that on hand a vet visit is always a good precaution when your pet's safety is concerned.