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It is best to recognise that there are products available freely in the average household that can be highly toxic to your pet. But another product that a lot of families have in their homes and share with their pet is chocolate.

Chocolate contains products that belong to a family called Methylxanthine alkaloids – which are the two main drugs in caffine and theobromine. These two drugs when consumed by your dog cause the following problems – vasoconstriction of the brain, muscles of the heart to contract and the brain to have stimulation and seizures.

The symptoms that we are often presented with include some or all of the following;

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • the dog is over alert and hyper-excitable
  • possible fitting or showing extreme tremors over the body
  • the heart may be misfiring and the animal may be experiencing heart attacks

What a lot of people are unaware of is that different chocolate has different levels of these alkaloids in them. Baking (cooking) chocolate is the worst, followed by milk chocolate, hot drinking chocolate and then white chocolate.

Did you know that 35gms of cooking chocolate can be fatal to a 5kg dog while it takes 350gms of milk chocolate to be lethal to the same weighted dog?

There is no known antidote to these alkaloids and if we are presented with a suspected poisoning then the treatment is prolonged and expensive and in some cases, the animal can still sadly die.

Remember this Easter to keep chocolate away from your pets and teach your children not to feed or share their easter eggs with the family pet. If you’re having an Easter egg hunt remember that whilst you may not be able to find where you have hidden them all – your dog can!

There is no known reason why a dog will benefit from eating chocolate and there are a number of reasons why a dog should NOT be given chocolate – so please so not feed your dog chocolate of any kind. We humans are not as sensitive to these poisons – so eat the chocolate yourself and give your dog another treat that is good for them (like a cuddle!)

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