Easter Egg Warning!
It’s that time of year again when many of us are looking forward to a chocolate overload, with many homes full of Easter eggs and other chocolate treats
However you may not be aware that overdoing the chocs can do more damage than just pilling on the pounds- to dogs it can be fatal!
Every year we see a number of dogs who just couldn’t resist the temptation and manage to snatch the chocolate left on the side and snaffle the lot. Dogs can’t deal with a component of chocolate called theobromine so this can be really dangerous.
Too much theobromine speeds up their heart- risking abnormal heart rhythms- it also affects the brain and in severe cases seizures and even death can result. Dogs will get hyperactive and can get a very high temperature that can damage organs.
Even in mild cases guts upsets can result leading to vomiting and diarrhoea and possible dehydration.
If your dog eats chocolate it is always advised to contact your vet as soon as possible.
As a general rule the higher the cocoa content the more dangerous the chocolate. So white chocolate may cause a gut upset from the milk and fat, but it is unlikely to result in toxicity. Dark chocolate on the other hand could result in toxic effects for a small dog if they even ate a few squares. A 100g bar of high cocoa content chocolate could definitely provide a fatal dose of theobromine for a small to medium sized dog and make a large dog poorly. Milk chocolate falls in a range in between; a few milk chocolates with soft centres, or a digestive biscuit is certainly not advised for lots of reasons but is unlikely to be toxic, but if your dog gets holds of all the kid’s easter eggs then a toxic dose could be eaten.
If your dog eats chocolate speed is of the essence. Quick treatment to induce vomiting and get them to bring up the chocolate before it is digested is the best way to avoid complications. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate try and retrieve the packaging and call your vet straight away. Knowing the cocoa content of the product is really helpful.
If you are unsure of the time your dog ate chocolate and it is several hours ago there are still things that can be done, so don’t despair It is important to ensure your dog is checked and monitored.
Don’t wait to see if your dogs shows signs, is is always better to act first to prevent complications.
Best of all keep all chocolate products well out of reach of your pet!