There are lots of potential foods and items around our homes that are poisonous to cats and dogs, one of which is chocolate!
With Easter around the corner, it is important to remember to keep Easter eggs and other chocolate out of your pet’s way. Chocolate can cause a number of problems and make pets very poorly.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical which is similar to caffeine. It can cause toxic effects in cats and dogs. The amount of theobromine in chocolate varies depending on the quality and type of chocolate. Although, the toxic level for a cat is lower than that of a dog it is usually the latter who are culprits of chocolate ingestion. Simply, cats are less likely to eat it as they cannot taste sweetness.
Humans are able to metabolise theobromine more quickly than dogs and cats and therefore the level of theobromine doesn’t reach a toxic level.
Even just a small amount of dark chocolate (which has a high concentration of theobromine) can cause side effects, such as agitation, hyper excitability, tremors, convulsions, heart disturbances and rarely death.
Milk chocolate, although much less toxic, can cause problems with the pancreas and gastrointestinal system due to the high levels of fat, so still avoid it and call us for advice if ingested.
How to avoid chocolate poisoning in pets
The most effective way to avoid you pets eating chocolate is to keep it away from it altogether. However, with Easter eggs being given, egg hunts underway and children running around with chocolate treats we understand that this is not always as easy as it sounds. Dogs are perfectly happy to accept chocolate as treats and will more than likely scavenge or pinch it if they are given the opportunity. Here are a few extra tips:-
Try not to leave chocolate items lying around, put them away in a cupboard
Do not feed pets chocolate as a treat (no matter how adorable their eyes are)
Always ensure bins are secure and cannot be raided by pets
Prevent your dog from scavenging when out and about – pop them on a lead or use a Baskerville muzzle
If you need further advice or you’re concerned your pet has ingested chocolate, please contact the practice on 01386 446095 as soon as possible.