Keep an eye out this Easter

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Easter Dangers for Dogs

Easter is almost upon us and for most people, that means chocolate (and lots of it). While Easter and Easter eggs go together wonderfully, chocolate and dogs do not. Most dog owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate but accidents around this time of year are still far too common. By planning ahead and making small adjustments, your entire family can have an incident free holiday.

What does it do?

Chocolate is toxic to dogs (and other animals) because it contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine which, unlike humans, dogs cannot metabolize. Both caffeine and theobromine will negatively affect a dogs cardiac and neurologic systems causing serious illness.  While every dog’s tolerance is different, it can take a medium size dog as little as 30g of dark chocolate or 250g of milk chocolate to show signs of poisoning.

What can I do?

Having a house full of people and excited children can make it more difficult to monitor your pet. Setting a few ground rules with any guests or children and reminding them not to feed your dog or leave their treats anywhere where the dog may get them is a good step. If you’re doing an Easter egg hunt, make sure your dog is safely away. It’s a good idea to make a note of how many eggs you’ve placed and where you’ve placed them, so you can make sure they’ve all been picked up before your dog comes out. Keep a close eye on your dog, they’re masters at finding and getting into things that they shouldn’t and its all too tempting for them.

Signs and Symptoms

If you’re worried that your dog has eaten chocolate, these are the main symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Loss of appetite and excessive thirst, Hyperactivity (restlessness, muscle twitching) and Lethargy

It can take a few hours to start showing signs but the sooner your dog seeks medical attention, the better the prognosis.

Dogs and Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns, another Easter staple, are also incredibly dangerous for your dog. Raisins, sultanas and lemon zest are some of the common ingredients in hot cross buns that are toxic to dogs and can cause sudden kidney failure as well as seizures and abdominal pain. Even small amounts can cause problems, so this is one Easter treat you get to keep all to yourself.

Remember to plan ahead so everyone can enjoy Easter this year and if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact a vet.