Easter is synonymous with chocolate and it may be your favourite way to spoil a loved one but please don’t give it to your pets. Chocolate is toxic to animals and can be fatal. It contains caffeine and theobromine, two stimulants that affect the central nervous system and the heart muscle in pets.
How much it takes to poison your pet depends on the type and on his or her weight but because each pet reacts differently, it’s best to avoid chocolate entirely.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning
If your pet has eaten a piece of chocolate, he or she may exhibit the following symptoms:
• restlessness • hyperactivity • muscle twitching • vomiting • excessive panting • increased urination.
If he/she isn’t treated immediately, they could suffer a seizure and possibly even die.
If your pet displays any of the symptoms of chocolate ingestion the first thing to do is to make sure it is indeed chocolate that he or she has eaten. Many poisons have similar symptomatic reactions.
What to do
Make your pet him vomit immediately. This is easiest with a 3 % solution hydrogen peroxide, at a dosage of 1mm per kg of dog (a teaspoon per 5kg). It’s handy to keep hydrogen peroxide, obtainable from pharmacies, in your medicine cabinet at all times. Mix the solution with peanut butter or ice cream so the dog will gulp it down.
If you can’t get him to vomit or his symptoms worsen get him to a vet urgently. It is imperative that he gets the chocolate out of his system as fast as possible.
If you want to spoil your fluffy friend for Easter, our EberVet Vetshops stock a wide range of healthy, yummy treats. Your pets will love them yet they’ll do no harm. In fact, they’re super healthy. Our current favourites are the new biscuits from ProBono, and the delicious peanut-butter filled Boredom Busters.