Chocolate Toxicity – Why Your Dog Should Not Be Included in the Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Besides the relief from summer’s high temperatures, if there is one sweet aspect to the arrival of Autumn, it’s the appearance of brightly coloured, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs to our supermarket shelves as we approach the Easter holidays.
As tempting as these tiny treats are to you and me, they are also irresistible to our four-legged friends and while a small sugar rush may be fine for us humans, consuming chocolate can be toxic for dogs and is best avoided.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains theobromine and to a lesser extent, caffeine. Both compounds are difficult for dogs to process which can lead to a build up in their systems causing toxicity.
Signs of chocolate toxicity in dogs may vary depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed and the size of the dog. Mild symptoms may include an upset stomach, such as vomiting or diarrhea, whilst more serious cases may include seizures, tremors, irregular heart rate, heart arrhythmia and internal bleeding. In both cases you may witness an onset of extreme excitement before these signs are evident.
Besides the anguish of seeing your furry family member in discomfort, an avoidable vet bill is another reason to be mindful when hiding chocolate eggs for your annual Easter Egg Hunt. Remembering to count the number of eggs hidden to ensure they are all collected by human hands will save your dog from undergoing treatment for poisoning, recommended to be administered by a veterinarian who should be contacted as soon as chocolate poisoning is suspected.
If you simply cannot resist sharing a sweet treat with those big puppy dog eyes, opt for a chocolate specially formulated for dogs which are generally made from carob and avoid the ingredients that may be harmful to them.
Who knows, maybe that cotton-tailed bunny will even make a dog-friendly delivery when he visits your home this year.