Don’t give your leftover Easter chocolate to dogs

A big portion of the world has just celebrated Easter. A beautiful spring holiday, especially important for the Christian world, is usually celebrated with a generous amount of chocolate. In fact, sometimes there is so much chocolate that children leave it unfinished (I know, unbelievable, right?).

It is very important that leftover chocolate doesn’t reach dogs, but why?

Chocolate is toxic and, therefore, extremely dangerous to dogs. Image credit: Quichot via Wikimedia

You’ve probably heard many times that dogs cannot eat chocolate. It is extremely toxic to them and can kill them. In fact, a lot of dogs are killed during such holidays as Christmas and Easter, typically celebrated with a lot of sweets. But how can it be so delicious to us and toxic to our pets? Why is that exactly?

Dr Anne Quain, clinical vet and lecturer at the University of Sydney, explained: “Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic to pets. A lot of gourmet and vegan chocolates are even more toxic to dogs because of their higher chocolate content”. And while we are talking about chocolate toxicity to dogs more often, it is also very dangerous for other pets such as  cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and others. In fact, just leave chocolate to people only.

The reason why dogs fall victim to chocolate more often is because they sniff it out more easily thanks to their incredible sense of smell. Even owners who are aware that chocolate can kill their dogs sometimes cannot avoid this risk, because they do not hide their chocolate properly. In fact, this might be even more dangerous, because then chocolate can be consumed with wrappers and cause an intestinal obstruction.

Your dog might eat chocolate without your knowledge. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and collapse. Many dogs die every year because of chocolate toxicity. If your dog ate a chocolate egg, call your vet immediately and follow his instructions. It is likely that the vet will ask you to estimate how much chocolate was eaten and how much does the dog weigh. It is also important to consider what exactly was consumed – a chocolate piece or a dessert with chocolate inside. In some cases a visit to the vet is inevitable and vomiting may need to be induced.

Just hide your chocolate where dogs and other pets cannot find them or reach them. Educate your children from an early age that sweet foods are not for pets. Do not allow your pets to scavenge through the garbage where some toxic foods may be thrown away. Finally, remember that  raisins, artificial sweeteners and alcohol in some baked goods are also toxic to pets. Just keep human food to humans and feed your pets appropriate safe food.

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