Whether it’s caused by owners giving their pet an Easter egg as a present or chocolate is accidentally left within their reach, we see an influx of pets suffering from chocolate poisoning at this time of year. Pets getting their paws on chocolate means that Easter is now the second busiest time of year for cases of chocolate poisoning, just behind Christmas.
Chocolate is particularly toxic to dogs, as it contains caffeine and theobromine, two substances that dogs are incredibly sensitive to. Dark chocolate is the biggest danger to dogs, and is more likely to cause medical complications than regular milk or white chocolate.
The level of toxicity also depends on the size of the dog, the type and the amount of chocolate but for most dogs even small amounts of chocolate can trigger unpleasant reactions. The usual signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased body temperature and heart rate, rapid breathing and can even lead to seizures and cardiac failure.
In order for owners and their pets to enjoy a happy Easter together, the best option is to keep all chocolate out of their reach and give them an animal-friendly treat instead, like a dental chew or even special dog friendly ‘chocolate’ treats.
Although there aren’t as many cases of chocolate poisoning for cats, rabbits and rodents, they can all still suffer from health issues after digesting chocolate. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, then it is always safest to take them straight to the nearest veterinary practice for a check over.