Why chocolate is so dangerous for dogs and what to do if they accidentally eat it | TeamDogs
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Why chocolate is so dangerous for dogs and what to do if they accidentally eat it

Make sure you keep your Easter eggs out of paws reach this weekend

Danielle Elton

Posted 5 months ago ago

Easter weekend is upon us, and while it gives us the perfect excuse to scoff lots of delicious chocolate, those Easter treats could prove fatal for our dogs.

With a rise in chocolate-induced vet visits at this time of year, it’s one of the seasonal celebrations where we need to be more vigilant with our dogs.

Keep them away from your Easter eggs!

Easter chocolate poses a serious risk to our lovable furbabies if eaten, and we don’t want that.

Warning owners of the dangers of chocolate, GoCompare has put together a useful guide on how we can ensure our dog’s safety this Easter.

Sally Jaques, Pet Insurance Expert at GoCompare, said: “In the run-up to Easter, it's important to raise awareness of the risks associated with chocolate consumption and pets. 

“With there being more chocolate bought into the home at this time of year, there is a higher risk of accidents happening.

We advise keeping any chocolate, such as Easter eggs or chocolate cake, out of reach from curious pets.”

From the symptoms to look out for to tasty alternatives, here’s everything you need to know about dogs and chocolate.

Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Chocolate poisoning in pets is caused by the chemical theobromine. This can be toxic to dogs as their digestive systems cannot break it down. 

The effects of chocolate poisoning depend on the amount and type of chocolate eaten and the size and breed of the dog.

Dark chocolate tends to have higher levels of theobromine, but it can also be found in white and milk varieties.

And it’s not only Easter eggs and chocolate bars that pose a threat, but even chocolate found in cakes and biscuits can also be harmful.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?

Even small amounts of chocolate can be toxic to pets so it is important to be aware of the common symptoms to look out for.

These symptoms tend to occur any time from 4 to 24 hours after consumption.

Five common symptoms that your pet has chocolate poisoning:

  • Vomit - this can sometimes include blood
  • Heavy, rapid breathing 
  • An increased heart rate 
  • Showing signs of restlessness
  • Diarrhoea

What to do if your pet eats Easter chocolate

We can’t have our eyes on them 24/7 and unfortunately, accidents do happen.

If your dog does manage to get their paws on some chocolate, GoCompare had the following advice:

Call your local vet: The first step to take is to seek medical attention. This is to prevent any long-term effects, as well as to minimise the short term. Speaking to a health professional provides the best solution when trying to be time-efficient. 

Stay Calm: Time and accuracy are the most important factors when it comes to minimising damage to your pet. The calmer you are the faster you’ll be able to find the right solution to aid your pet’s recovery.

Don’t try and induce vomiting: If you fear that the amount of chocolate your pet has consumed is fatal. Do not try and force vomiting. It can be very dangerous, seek professional help as soon as possible.

The chocolate type: Keep an eye on the chocolate type consumed. This can be a big help in judging fatality levels. For example, dark chocolate is more dangerous than white chocolate. 

Keep track of details: Details such as the weight of your pet and how much they may have consumed are vital for health professionals to determine how toxic it will be for the dog, which will then aid in providing the best solutions.

Alternatives Easter treats

Just because your dog can’t snack on chocolate, it doesn’t mean they should miss out on treats this Easter. 

Here are some great pet-friendly alternative options: 

Carob: A well-known healthy alternative that comes from the Carob Plant. Carob is high in vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Peanut Butter: A spoonful is a safe alternative to chocolate that provides healthy fats and proteins to your dog’s diet.

Carrots: Carrots help to improve dental health and are a great source of vitamin A for your dog.

Banana: A great treat that is high in potassium and vitamins but should only be given on occasion due to high sugar content.

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