MANILA -- This Halloween, pet owners are reminded to be on the lookout for certain treats that can be dangerous for their animal companions.
In a statement, the US-based Pet Food Institute (PFI) said chocolate can be toxic to pets, "and even lethal in rare circumstances."
It added that candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to pets as they may experience increased heart rate, rapid breathing, diarrhea, or vomiting.
PFI also warned pet parents to be careful and selective when it comes to Halloween costumes as beads or other small plastic pieces can cause choking and block an animal's gastrointestinal tract. This, it said, may lead to more serious health problems such as decrease in blood flow in the bowel.
The outfits should also not restrict the pet's movement and breathing, PFI added.
Other common Halloween-related hazards include candles as these can be easily knocked over by pets. PFI encouraged the use of battery-operated candles for a fire-free and pet-safe holiday.
Established in 1958, PFI is considered the "voice of the US pet food industry," representing companies that make 98% of dog and cat food in America.