Keep your pets away from chocolate this Easter

March 29, 2012
Keep your pets away from chocolate this Easter

Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital is warning pet owners against the temptation to share chocolate with their dogs this Easter.

Murdoch Emergency Centre (MPEC) lecturer, Dr. Melissa Claus, said it is not unusual to have pets utilising the critical care service as a result of toxicity.

“Sadly chocolate can be poisonous to ,” Dr. Claus said.

“The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content and the more toxic it is to dogs.

“A dog weighing five kilograms could develop mild signs of toxicity after eating 50 grams of milk chocolate or just seven grams of cooking chocolate.”

“The same size dog could seizure after eating 100 grams of milk chocolate or 15 grams of cooking chocolate, and ingestion of larger amounts can cause death.

“The signs to look for include hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, a fast or irregular heartbeat, panting, overheating, or collapse.”

Dr. Claus said chocolate is toxic to dogs because of the theobromine and caffeine content. White chocolate doesn’t contain these compounds but should still be avoided as it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

“If a toxic dose of chocolate has been ingested, immediate veterinary attention is required to help decrease absorption of chocolate and its components,” Dr. Claus said.

“It is important to move quickly and get your dog to a veterinarian in case toxicity develops.

“We recommend you purchase treats designed specifically for dogs, such as those for sale at your local veterinary clinic.”

Explore further: In Brief: Chocolate increases cognitive performance

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