It goes without saying that there are some potential dangers of Halloween that we automatically worry about: Kids trick-or-treating and crossing streets at night, foreign objects in food, creepy people out and about, etc. If you let your mind wander (and you’re a paranoid parent like I am) you could think of 100 things that could go wrong on Halloween.

What people don’t realize is that Halloween is also one of the most dangerous holidays for pets. And the reason for that is something that we all know but barely ever think about this time of year: The danger of chocolate.

According to BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, which has locations all across the country, there’s a 250% increase in pets treated for chocolate toxicity in the week before Halloween. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERCENT.

That’s astonishing, and it makes sense. That’s the time where you have hundreds of those tiny little fun-size chocolate bars lying around in every corner of your home, getting ready to distribute to the next cute little ghost or goblin who rings your bell. A lot of people don’t realize that chocolate is also toxic to cats and other domestic animals.

Of course, there are other Halloween-related hazards that BluePearl wants to bring awareness to such as the wiring of electric decorations, candles that people burn inside of jack-o’-lanterns, treat wrappers, and bags that your four-legged friends could easily choke on. And let’s not forget that the constant ringing of the doorbell and strangers at the door can spook any pet.

But the most important thing to remember is that during the most candy-laden time of the year, make sure that all of your chocolate— and even candies with artificial sweeteners which can also be harmful to pets, are placed where you can see them and where pets cannot encounter them.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco's own.

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