I knew chocolate and pets was a bad combination but I still found out the hard way when I discovered my dog, Toby a Maltese Cross had eaten two milk chocolate Easter eggs while I was out for a few hours.  Oh dear! I thought I’d placed the Easter eggs safely far away from Toby’s reach.  When I came home I found silver wrapping scattered around the room and vomit in other parts of the house.  Not good! Toby was seemed ok but I called my vet immediately. The vet nurse asked me ‘was the Easter egg dark or milk chocolate?’ I was told to monitor him over the next 24 hours.  Fortunately, Toby ate milk chocolate and he recovered well.

You can avoid my unfortunate experience, find out why chocolate is bad for your pets, the signs to look out for and tips for a safe family Easter egg hunt.

Why are chocolate and pets a dangerous combination?

According to the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant which increases the heart rate and can lead to an irregular heart beat.

The size of your pet and how much you feed them will determine how sick they could become. Dark and cooking chocolates will have a worse effect. However, even a medium sized chocolate bar could make your pet sick.

The signs of chocolate poisoning

When our pets have chocolate – in any amount – they can become:

  • hyperactive
  • start vomiting,
  • suffer diarrhoea and urinate excessively

This can be followed by depression, seizure, coma, and even death say the AVA.

Easter egg hunt safety tip

For those families who have an egg hunt as part of their Easter celebrations make sure you hide any chocolate eggs up high and take care that they are all found at the end. You don’t want your pet finding some you have missed when you aren’t there!

If you’d like to give your pet a special treat, there are some great healthy gift ideas out there for your pet.  Spend quality time playing with your cat or dog over the Easter break.

Why isn’t chocolate toxic to humans?

Humans can break down and excrete Theobromine much more efficiently than dogs.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested chocolate, please contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment asap.