There is no doubt that this year, Easter was probably the strangest Easter that we’ve ever experienced. Global pandemics tend to do that – and not being able to gather with family or attend outdoor events can make a holiday feel a little less than festive. But pandemic or not, there is one thing that you can be certain about, is there wasn’t a lack of chocolate bunnies for Easter time. And if you’re anything like me, they didn’t last long.
However, for those of you with better self-control, some of the Easter chocolate might still be hanging around the house…and if you’re a dog owner, you need to watch out for that. Dogs appreciate things that taste yummy just as much as we do, however, they can easily get poisoned by chocolate if they consume it.
In fact, the Easter holiday is often one of the busiest weekends for vets who see a rise in dogs dealing with chocolate poisoning. In fact, chocolate is so toxic to dogs due to it containing the chemical known as theobromine. Not only can theobromine cause diarrhea and vomiting in your pets, but it can also pose a fatal threat as it can affect the central nervous system, heart, and kidneys.
And the darker the chocolate type, the higher the theobromine concentration will be. For example, white chocolate will have the least amounts of theobromine, while dark chocolate and cocoa will have the highest concentrations of theobromine.
And if you’re not convinced that theobromine is that bad of a problem, let us break it down for you: a small bar of dark chocolate – about 50 grams – is enough to kill a small dog.
Now you can understand why vets are always cautioning dog owners to be careful.
If you have leftover Easter chocolate eggs or bunnies, then here is what you can do to make sure that they stay away from your dog:
-Keep chocolate stashes locked away and out of reach of your dog.
-Parents should educate their kids about the dangers that chocolate poses to dogs in order to prevent them from sharing their chocolate with their pets.
-In the future, should you do an Easter egg hunt, make sure that your dog is safely locked in a room or kennel until it’s over and all chocolate has been found.
Should your dog accidentally eat chocolate, the symptoms will usually take 4 to 24 hours after ingestion to appear. The severity of the symptoms will be dependent on how much theobromine your dog has consumed.
The symptoms to watch out for include:
Vomiting (may include blood)
Restlessness and hyperactivity
Muscle tension, incoordination
Increased heart rate
If your dog begins to show any of these symptoms, then obviously it’s important to get in touch with your vet. Even if you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate, or if they’ve eaten chocolate but don’t have symptoms, then you should still call your vet with the following information:
1) how much chocolate your dog ingested
2) what type of chocolate they ate – so if you happen to have the wrapper with the ingredients, include that
3) what time your dog ate the chocolate
4) your dog’s weight
Not only will these details help your vet determine whether or not your dog has eaten a toxic dose or not, as well as to better determine the proper course of treatment that may be needed.
Additionally, if you have any leftover hot cross buns lying around, you may want to keep a close on them as well, since these baked goods can also be toxic due to the raisins that are in them.
For more information, check out the video below: