Easter is here, and we have a lot of new pet owners, family, and friends we will visit or who are staying with us that are not aware of the dangers of how chocolate can kill dogs. Chocolate is one snack that should not be shared with your canine friend.
Why does chocolate kill dogs and other pets if not treated?
Theobromine is toxic to dogs and other pets, e.g., cats, mice, and rats. Theobromine is contained in cocoa, which is used to make beautiful chocolate. Poisoning can occur with cats and other animals however it is mainly a serious issue for dogs, especially at Easter time.
Theobromine levels of concentration vary depending on the chocolate. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and cooking chocolate contain higher levels than milk or white chocolate.
Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning.
Signs can take between 30 minutes to 3 hours to show:
- Hyperactivity and Restlessness
- Trembling and muscle tremors
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Increased thirst and urination
- Increased heart rate
- In severe cases seizures and possibly death
What your Vet will want to know.
The type of chocolate, amount eaten and the size/weight of your dog are all important factors your vet will need to know as toxicity of Theobromine is dose-related. Even if your pet has eaten a small amount of chocolate, you should seek advice from your local veterinarian.
Your Vet may ask you to monitor your pet or discuss the possibility of inducing vomiting. In severe cases, induced vomiting with supportive therapy by a veterinarian is the usual treatment however it is important to seek attention ASAP with your local vet or online.
Big Tip. Chocolate > Poison > Dogs
I had it said to me “oh it did not hurt our dogs when we were growing up” and we could go on with these comments/memories.
Sometimes it is the adults you have to make sure they realize you are serious that you do not want your pets to have any chocolate. Once explained to the children how chocolate could make their special friends very sick and to ensure their chocolate supplies are kept high or in a container with a lid, they are extremely careful not to leave chocolate around.
The good old Easter Egg hunt does not have to be put on the back burner. As a family we have a couple of people put the eggs out and know how many have been hidden. The dogs are put on leads or tied up, and the children are told not to come back until they have found them all. We also say how many we have hidden to ensure they find them all. Yes, we do a final count not only to see who collected the most and also to ensure all chocolate has been found.
Until next time, have a safe and wonderful Easter with lots of chocolate and laughing.
Keep enjoying each other.
Helen and Cleopatra