By Suzanne Pender
PAWS off the chocolate this Easter!
That’s the message from the Dogs Trust charity, which today has warned of the dangers of Easter chocolate for dogs.
With the bank holiday Easter weekend quickly approaching, Dogs Trust Ireland is appealing for dog owners to be vigilant and keep chocolate out of reach of their dogs.
The charity is urging owners not to feed dogs any chocolate intended for humans, and if your egg or any chocolate is missing and you suspect that your dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away. Given dogs’ keen sense of smell, it’s best to keep chocolate out of sight and out of reach.
Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs so it needs to be stored safely where they can’t access it. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is extremely toxic to canines; the darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa content of the chocolate.
“If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, please contact your vet for advice immediately,” said veterinary surgeon Desré Daly at Dogs Trust Ireland.
“Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, seizures and potentially kidney and heart failure. It is helpful if you can tell your vet how much chocolate and the type of chocolate you think your dog may have ingested,” she added.
Ms Daly advised that if you have any packaging, take it with you to the vets. “Unfortunately, there is no antidote for theobromine poisoning, therefore, the sooner veterinary treatment is implemented, the greater the dog’s chances of recovery.”
To keep dogs safe this Easter, Dogs Trust recommends explaining to children that it’s not safe to share their Easter eggs with their furry friends and to stick to doggy-friendly treats that are kinder to your canine.