So it’s the day after Halloween and your kids have amassed enough chocolate and candy to make Willy Wonka jealous. While everyone knows chocolate is bad for dogs, few people understand the real implications of dogs getting a hold of some tasty Hersey bars.
First and foremost make efforts to ensure candy is not left where your dog can reach it. Sometimes managing a situation trumps actual training. Most dogs like sweets and the smell of all that candy can be more temptation then the average dog can resist…heck, I can't resist having candy anywhere nearby so I would not blame my dogs at all for having a run at a good stash!
Second, realize that your dog getting a single piece of chocolate does not necessitate a run to the emergency vet! Chocolate can be toxic to your dog, but the amount and type are the factors that determine the danger level. The darker the chocolate the darker the prognosis while white chocolate is almost nontoxic. Call the vet if your dog ingests about 20mg of a toxic substance per pound of dog weight. For more detail and calculations, see this article: http://www.petful.com/pet-health/no-chocolate-in-this-stocking/
At worst, unless you have a dog that has an allergy, you can expect some messy toilets and possibly a bit of up chucking…just make sure he has fresh water and perhaps skip the next meal in lieu of something bland like boiled chicken and rice. Once all bodily functions go back to normal, resume normal feeding.
A substance to highly aware of is Xylitol, a sugar-free sweeter found in many sugar-free candies and gum. This product is highly toxic to pets and the ASPCA Poison Control even suggests not having these products in the same house as your pet!
Bottom line, good management and containment is the best approach to making sure you furry friend does not indulge his sweet tooth after Halloween.