For children and adults alike, Easter is often a time for indulging in chocolate without feeling too guilty. After all what’s Easter without Easter eggs? But pet owners, beware! Don’t be tempted to share your Creme Egg with your pet, no matter how mournful they look. Cocoa contains the compound theobromine, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PET EATS CHOCOLATE?
Most pet owners take care to keep chocolate out of reach. But at Easter it can be hard, what with Easter egg hunts and an excess of chocolate around the house! If you think your dog or cat has eaten chocolate, it’s advisable to contact a vet as soon as possible. Small amounts of theobromine might have a negligible effect but it’s very difficult to know how much your pet has actually ingested.
The degree of chocolate toxicity also depends on how much chocolate your pet has eaten and what type of chocolate it was, compared to the size of your dog or cat. Dark chocolates have higher levels of theobromine and are more toxic, milk chocolates have moderate levels of theobromine, and white chocolates have low levels of theobromine. Generally, the more cocoa solids contained in the chocolate, the more theobromine will be present, and the higher the risk of toxicity to your pet.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS EATEN CHOCOLATE?
The signs that a dog or cat has ingested chocolate vary depending on the amount they’ve eaten. The most common tell-tale symptom is diarrhoea.
Some dogs show other signs like panting, increased heartbeat and urination. Theobromine poisoning can be fatal so don’t delay if you suspect your dog or cat has eaten even a small amount of chocolate. Take them straight to a vet. Better to be safe than sorry.
Other foods that are toxic for dogs and cats are:
Onions, Garlic, Chives, Macadamia nuts, Avocado, Alcohol, Grapes, Raisins, xylitol