It's Easter and time to talk about chocolate and your pets. While chocolate is delightfully delicious and we wish we could share the experience with our beloved pet; it’s important to remember that chocolate can be poisonous and even life-threatening to animals.
While some people may argue that they’ve given chocolate to their pet with no adverse effects; it’s vital to note that like any food or medicine, the reaction to the toxin is dependent upon the dosage and size of the animal.
Chocolate contains the compound Theobromine that can affect the central nervous system. For their health and safety, please completely restrict all access to chocolate and make sure it can’t be accessed.
If they ingest chocolate (even a small amount) contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible for advice.
Symptoms of ingestion may include:
- Hyperactivity including restlessness and excitement
- Increased drinking and urination
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tremors
- Seizures and possibly death
RSPCA ACT Veterinarian Sarah Pilbeam warned that it’s not just chocolate we need to watch out for, “Dogs are even less well equipped to deal with chocolate then we are! It’s not just the active theobromine that is bad news for pets. Dogs just aren’t designed to digest high fat (and high sugar) meals and a large dose of fat is a really big strain on them, especially their pancreas.”
She had this to add regarding chocolate, “Chocolate wasn’t designed for dogs, and dogs weren’t designed for chocolate. Give them a treat that loves them back!”
This doesn’t mean that your pet has to miss out!
There is a range of pet-friendly snacks available. You can even make your own in a fun activity with the family!
RSPCA ACT CEO Tammy Ven Dange added, “I think that most owners know that chocolate is dangerous for their dogs these days, but it’s always a good reminder for them to think about any guests that might be staying during the long holidays. It’s not uncommon for baskets of chocolate eggs to be left around, and many dogs will eat anything that resembles food. Children, in particular, are really good at sharing their treats with pets, and this is also where many animals end up in the emergency rooms. So, don’t forget to remind your visitors of this risk too.”
If you’d like to read more about what to feed your pet, visit our Knowledge Base here.