Vets reveal why chocolate is so bad for dogs and how to protect your pets this Easter long weekend

Australian vets have given their tips and tricks for avoiding a trip to the vet this Easter long weekend – and revealed why chocolate is so toxic to dogs.

Sydney Animal Hospitals Regional Director Dr Tim Montgomery and Mars Petcare vet Dr Fiona Patterson have offered their advice on keeping your pet safe this Easter long weekend.

Animal doctors have said to be extra vigilant during Easter egg hunts and to make sure chocolate is kept well out of reach of dogs at all times.

While most pet owners know chocolate is harmful to dogs, Dr Montgomery told FEMAIL that there are still many cases of toxicity in dogs over the Easter long weekend each year. .

Dr Patterson said signs ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures can indicate potential chocolate poisoning and immediately call the vey if you suspect your dog has nosed into your Easter treats.

Ahead of Easter, two Australian vets have revealed why chocolate is so harmful to dogs and offered their tips for avoiding a trip to the vet on your long weekend.

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Increased thirst

Excessive urination

Race heat rate

In severe cases:

muscle tremors

Seizures

Cardiac arrest

Source: Sydney Veterinary Hospitals

Make sure your Easter egg hunt is pet-friendly

If you’re planning an Easter egg hunt this weekend, Dr Patterson said it’s important to make sure the dogs aren’t around or loose.

“Consider placing your pup in a room or section of the house where he can comfortably stay while chocolate is hidden around the house,” she says.

Both vets say to count all eggs before you hide them and after the hunt to make sure there aren’t any left in the yard or around the house for your dog to sniff and eat.

Dr. Patterson also recommended making sure chocolate is always out of your pet’s reach.

“Make sure all chocolate is inaccessible when your dog is in the house and off leash,” she said.

“I recommend putting the chocolate in the cupboard instead of the bench, and keeping an eye out for Easter eggs on tables and surfaces — your pup may jump up and grab them.”

Why is chocolate so dangerous for dogs?

“The active ingredient we are concerned about in chocolate is theobromine, which belongs to the same family as caffeine, which can cause excitement and is most dangerous to the hearts and brains of dogs,” explained Dr. Montgomery.

Dr. Montgomery said people can also experience chocolate toxicity, but are much less sensitive to theobromine and would need to consume several pounds of dark chocolate to experience the same signs as dogs.

“This is partly due to the dog’s smaller size and partly due to its greater sensitivity – a 5kg dog would only need around 25 grams of dark chocolate to be potentially at risk,” he said. -he declares.

Be sure to count all the eggs before you hide them and after the hunt to make sure there aren't any left in the yard or around the house for your dog to sniff and eat.

Be sure to count all the eggs before you hide them and after the hunt to make sure there aren’t any left in the yard or around the house for your dog to sniff and eat.

Dr. Patterson said the darker, more bitter chocolate poses the greatest risk to dogs due to their higher theobromine content.

“Milk and dark chocolates can cause more harm than white chocolate. However, it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t ingest any of them and watch for symptoms if this happens,” she said. declared.

“Even if the amount ingested is not sufficient to cause toxicity, dogs can still become ill from the fat and sugar content of chocolate.”

Dr Fiona Patterson said symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, restlessness, gasping and increased thirst and urination may suggest your pet has chocolate toxicosis.

Dr Fiona Patterson said symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, restlessness, gasping and increased thirst and urination may suggest your pet has chocolate toxicosis.

What are the signs of chocolate poisoning?

If you suspect your dog may have eaten chocolate but aren’t sure, Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Patterson say there are symptoms to look out for that indicate poisoning.

Signs of chocolate contamination can appear anytime between thirty minutes and four hours and can vary in severity.

“By the time they start showing signs, it’s already getting a little dangerous,” Dr Montgomery said.

“The first sign you’re likely to notice is hyperactivity, and if left untreated, it can progress to abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, or death in severe cases.”

Dr Patterson said milder symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea and things like restlessness, panting and increased thirst and urination may suggest your pet has chocolate toxicosis and should not be ignored.

“If your pet is showing symptoms such as stiffness, muscle tremors or convulsions, this may be a sign of serious poisoning and warrants an immediate visit to the vet,” she said.

If you know or suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, Dr. Patterson says don't delay and call the vet right away to determine if he needs to be taken to the hospital.

If you know or suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, Dr. Patterson says don’t delay and call the vet right away to determine if he needs to be taken to the hospital.

It’s Not Just Chocolate: Other Foods That Can Land You at the Vet This Easter

1. Fatty meats: The fatty leftovers from your barbecue steak as well as ham and sausages contain large amounts of fat that your cat or dog may not be able to digest all at once.

“All foods that are very high in fat can cause stomach upset and, in severe cases, pancreatitis,” Dr. Montgomery told FEMAIL.

While some meats won’t do your pet much harm, Dr. Montgomery says to watch out for fatty foods like ham, sausages, leftover meats, and even vegetables slathered in olive oil.

He also said not to feed your pet meat with bones because there is a risk of the bones getting lodged in their throat or causing blockages.

2. Grapes, Raisins and Raisins: Dr. Montgomery said that the skin of grapes, raisins and raisins, like those in hot buns, are extremely harmful to dogs, so be very careful not to feed your pets the fruit.

“We don’t fully understand it and it’s not certain that all animals that eat grapes get sick, but those that do can die, so it’s important to take it seriously,” he said. .

“You may not notice signs of intoxication until a few days later, when it’s already too late,” he said.

If you suspect your dog has eaten raisins or grapes, take him to your nearest veterinarian immediately.

3. Macadamia nuts“It’s a disease that a lot of people don’t know about, but it can also cause very serious illnesses,” Dr. Montgomery said.

Macadamias can be very toxic to dogs, causing a range of symptoms such as vomiting, inability to walk, weakness or, in extreme cases, paralysis.

4. Garlic and onions: Garlic and onions are used in many barbecues or party dishes, but they contain toxic chemicals for cats and dogs.

Dr. Montgomery says that in fact, it’s best to keep all foods from the allium vegetable family away from your furry friends because they damage red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.

What to do if your dog eats chocolate

If you know or suspect your dog has consumed chocolate, Dr. Patterson says don’t delay and call the vet right away to determine if he needs to be taken to the hospital.

If your dog has vomited and you see traces of chocolate in what he ate, Dr. Montgomery said a trip to the vet is still important because it only empties the stomach 50 to 60 percent of its content.

“I had this last night, a dog came in after throwing up chocolate at home, then when he came to the vet he brought up even more,” he said.

“It is for this reason that we recommend following this procedure with activated charcoal to limit the absorption of chocolate, as well as monitoring the animal in the hospital in case of worsening of its condition.”

Comments are closed.