Pet owners urged to make sure dogs avoid chocolate over Easter

People advised to contact vet straight away if animals display signs of chocolate poisoning

An animal welfare charity has warned to pet owners to keep Easter eggs out of the reach of dogs as chocolate can be highly toxic for them. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

An animal welfare charity has warned to pet owners to keep Easter eggs out of the reach of dogs as chocolate can be highly toxic for them. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

 

An animal welfare charity has warned to pet owners to keep Easter eggs out of the reach of dogs as chocolate can be highly toxic for them.

Desré Daly, a veterinary surgeon with Dogs Turst, said dogs could potentially face tragic consequences if the eat chocolate intended for human consumption.

“While chocolate is a sweet treat that humans can enjoy, it is something dogs should never have. It is the theobromine, a substance found in chocolate, which can be toxic to dogs,” she said.

“An individual dog’s sensitivity to chocolate is variable and depending on their body weight (and the type of chocolate ingested), even just a small bite of chocolate can make some dogs very sick, and in significant enough quantities, death could result.”

Ms Daly said that when a dog eats chocolate, the theobromine breaks down more slowly than it does in humans.

“Theobromine interferes with the normal functioning of the central nervous system, heart and kidneys. Without appropriate and timely treatment, this could lead to death.”

She said the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include vomiting, drooling, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, rapid heart rate, tremors and potent seizures.

Dogs Trust says that dog owners should keep chocolate in a safe place.

“This means hidden out of sight and out of reach from your dog. If your egg (or any chocolate) is missing and you suspect that your dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away,” the organisation said.