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Don't Give Your Dogs Chocolate On Easter, Vets Warn

Celebration of Easter is considered the second busiest event of the year next to Christmas. It's also when treats and candies overflow for the kids and to all loved ones, including pets. Veterinaries, however, warn pet owners not to give treats such as chocolate to dogs as this is can cause dog poisoning.

According to Dr. Huy Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, a large number of dog poisoning cases increases during this event of the year becasue either dog owners give their pets Easter egg presents or chocolate is left within the pets' reach. For this reason, the veterinary says it's important to keep an eye on our pets during the holiday.

"We want to make sure that the 8.5 million dogs in the UK are safe from chocolate this Easter," says Stacey.

Why Chocolate Is Toxic To Dogs But Safe For Humans

Chemical components of chocolate can endanger your pet dog's life, as they contain xanthines, specifically theobromine and caffeine, which are substances that dogs are so sensitive to. When dogs ingest a certain amount of these chemicals, it can affect the heart, kidneys and central nervous system. Dogs have difficulty breaking down and excreting these substances, which can lead to its build-up in the animals' system and eventually dog poisoning.

Darker and more bitter chocolates are more harmful to your pets as compared to milk and white chocolates. Toxicity also depends on the size of your dog, the amount of chocolate ingested and the kind of chocolate. For example, half a pound of chocolate can make a 50-pound dog sick while a dog of the same weight can be poisoned by a darker type of chocolate.

As compared to dogs, humans can digest, break down and release the chemical component of chocolate easily. Quite the opposite, dark chocolate has been proven to be the healthier option for chocolate lovers. Although there are little cases of chocolate poisoning to other animals such as rodents, rabbits and cats, it's still safer not to feed them chocolates as they can still suffer from poisoning.

Signs And Symptoms Of Dog Poisoning

Dogs who accidentally ingest chocolates can have diarrhea, vomiting, high body temperature, increased reflex response and heart rate, and even seizures.

"In order for owners and their pets to enjoy a happy Easter together, the best option is to keep all chocolate out of their reach and give them an animal-friendly treat instead, like a dental chew or even special dog friendly 'chocolate' treats", said Dr. Stacey.

if you suspect your pet dogs to have eaten chocolates, it's best to bring them to the nearest veterinary office.

Photo : Jeremy Duff | Flickr

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