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    • 24 Mar, 2016

    Beware of Chocolate Poisoning this Easter

    Chocolate might be a sweet and scrumptious treat for us humans, but for our beloved four-legged friends it’s a whole other story, and can have sickly, dangerous effects.

    Our Veterinary Staff warn that just as little as 50g (0.1lbs) can prove fatal to a small dog, as they are allergic to the natural chemical found in cocoa beans called Theobromine. Dogs and other animals digest Theobromine less effectively than humans, and it can eventually cause dog poisoning if they eat a deadly amount.

    The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more harmful it will be to your dog, because these have higher amounts of Theobromine in it.

    With Easter fast approaching, we want to make sure all owners are aware of the toxic effects chocolate can have on dogs. Over this chocolatey period lots of egg-citing treats will surely be overflowing in your house and will seem extremely tempting to any canine, so we urge owners to keep their choccy stash out-of-reach from greedy paws!

    If, like many owners, you want to give your best friend a little treat, then instead of sharing your Easter egg with them, make sure you give them something pet-friendly, suitable and safe.


    You should contact your vet immediately if your dog has eaten chocolate, as treatment may be needed. It will help your vet to work out if they have eaten a toxic dose and to treat your pet more effectively, if you can tell them:

    • How much chocolate your dog has eaten
    • What type of chocolate it was (try to take the wrappers along with you)
    • When your dog ate the chocolate

    If you suspect that your pooch has eaten chocolate, then look out for these signs and symptoms:

    • Vomiting (may include blood)
    • Diarrhoea
    • Restlessness and hyperactivity
    • Rapid breathing
    • Muscle tension, incoordination
    • High body temperature
    • Increased heart rate
    • Seizures

    Chocolate is not the only food to watch out for this Easter, you should avoid giving your dog hot cross buns as the grapes, found as raisins, can cause kidney failure. You should also be careful when cooking your Easter Sunday dinner not to give your dog cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injury.

    If you have any concerns or are worried that your dog has eaten chocolate or any other toxic food, then please contact your vet as soon as possible.

    Vet photo by Rowan Williams.

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