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    • 29 Mar, 2018

    Keep Paws off the Easter Chocolate!

    Chocolate might be a delicious treat for us humans, but for our four-legged friends it’s a whole different story, often with a devastating ending.

    With Easter falling on 1st April this year, we want to make sure pet owners aren’t fooled by seemingly sweet treats and are aware of the toxic effects chocolate can have on cats and dogs, ensuring they can spend this happy time together without any worries.

    Over this chocolate-y period, lots of treats like chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies can be found around the home which could seem tempting to pets, so we urge owners to keep their chocolate stash out-of-reach from greedy paws!

    Our Vet Team warns that chocolate contains a compound called Theobromine, which can be poisonous to dogs and cats even in small amounts.

    For example, one bar of dark chocolate (100g) can be seriously dangerous for a 10kg, small-sized dog. There are chocolate toxicity calculators for dogs online which you can use to see if your dog is at risk.

    Dogs and other animals digest Theobromine less effectively than humans and it can cause poisoning if they eat a deadly amount. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more harmful it will be due to higher amounts of Theobromine in it.

    The toxic dose for cats is even lower than for dogs. However, cats are less prone to eating chocolate since they are unable to taste sweetness, but you should still be cautious and ensure that it is kept well hidden from felines too.

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

    Treatment may be needed if your dog or cat eats any chocolate, so please contact your vet as soon as possible if you suspect they have gotten into your stash. To help your vet work out whether your pet has eaten a toxic dose and what treatment it may need, it is helpful to let them know how much chocolate has been eaten, what type of chocolate it was (empty wrappers can help identify this) and when your pet ate the chocolate.

    Symptoms to look out for if you suspect your dog or cat has eaten chocolate:

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

    If you do have any concerns for your pet, please contact your local vet as soon as possible.

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