‘Chocs Away!’ says Dogs Trust. The charity has launched an awareness drive that aims to reduce the number of dogs that end up at the vet with chocolate poisoning this Easter.
A shocking new survey for Dogs Trust has revealed that over 57 per cent of pet dogs have eaten chocolate intended for humans and more than 1 in 10 have become ill from it. Of these, 8 per cent died and nearly a quarter required urgent veterinary treatment.
Many dog owners are simply unaware of the dangers – 39 per cent of the dogs who’d eaten human chocolate were given it by their owners, while the remainder ate it because it had been just left lying around in the home.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate; the darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. As a rough guide, Dogs Trust estimates that 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier.
To keep your dog safe, follow these simple rules:
● Keep your ‘Chocs Away’ – hidden out of sight where your dog can’t reach them.
● Never feed your dog chocolate intended for humans.
● If an Easter egg goes missing and you suspect your dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away.
● Look out for any of the following symptoms: vomiting containing blood, a sore tummy, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, rapid heart rate and, in severe cases, epileptic-type fits.
● If your dog is displaying any of these signs take him to your vet immediately – there is no antidote for theobromine poisoning so the sooner treatment is implemented, the greater the chance of recovery.
● If you want to give your dog an Easter treat stick to natural doggy snacks.