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Easter Safety Tips for your Dog

Puppy Dog Dog Health & Wellness

Why you can’t share your Easter Egg with your Dog?

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

 

A big slice of chocolate mud cake on your birthday, a fun-size Kit Kat as an afternoon treat, and with Easter coming up, the countdown is on for a whole weekend of chocolate indulgence.  And while overindulging over the Easter holidays may result in a few extra kgs for us humans or even a bit of an upset tummy if we really go to town, the consequences for our best friends are much more serious.

 

For our dogs, eating a piece of chocolate can cause serious illness and, in some cases, can be serious.

 

This is why it’s important, as a pet parent, to be on high alert over the coming holiday period.

Why is chocolate so dangerous for dogs?

Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is harmful to dogs. 

 

It’s important also, that we don’t forget that chocolate toxicosis can be a potential problem for all our pets. The caffeine in chocolate can cause over stimulation of the nervous system, increased heart rate and tremors.

How much chocolate is toxic to a dog?

This depends on the type of chocolate and the size of your pet.   

 

The darker and the more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pets.  Cooking or baking chocolate and high-quality dark chocolate contains higher amounts of theobromine, milk chocolate (commonly used in supermarket Easter eggs) has less, and white chocolate barely poses any threat of chocolate poisoning.

 

The amount of fat and sugar in white chocolate, however, can still make a dog very sick and result in conditions such as pancreatitis.

Can I share a little piece of chocolate with my dog, for a special occasion?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  As little as 130mg of chocolate could be harmful to a 10kg dog.  Dogs and chocolate DO NOT MIX.

How do I know if my dog has chocolate poisoning?

Clinical signs of chocolate toxicosis depend on the amount and type of chocolate ingested.  For most dogs, the most common signs (apart from the missing egg and remains of the foil wrapper) are vomiting or diarrhoea.

Other (more serious) symptoms include restlessness, increased urination, stiffness, excitement (racing heartrate), muscle spasms (tremors) and seizures. 

I think my pet has eaten chocolate – what do I do?

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, call your Vet.  Never try to induce vomiting yourself.  Instead, try to determine what kind and how much chocolate they ate.  With this information, your Vet will be able to advise you on what to do.

 

Often it is better to assume that the chocolate could be toxic and start treatment, it may not be convenient, or comfortable for your pet, but could prevent a tragic outcome.

Is there Easter treats that I can safely share with my doggo?

While our pooches can’t have “human chocolate”, this doesn’t mean they have to miss out!  There are plenty of doggy treats that look just like chocolate but contain a dog friendly substitute called carob (which you may have heard of if your parents were on the “health bandwagon” in the 70s).

 

Carob has a naturally sweet flavour similar to chocolate, but it doesn’t contain any theobromine or caffeine.  Instead, it contains a number of healthy nutrients and is a great source of fibre for dogs.

 

We also have a wide range of natural, dental, healthcare, loose and training treats available for all pets to enjoy this Easter. Drop by your local Best Friends Pets to pick up a selection of safe Easter treats for your furry friends. 


Try some of our favourite treats!