With Easter just around the corner, we would like to remind owners to keep chocolate and other sweet treats well out of paws’ reach, as eating even a small amount can be dangerous.
Sixty percent of companion animal vets responding to a BVA survey reported cases of pets suffering from chocolate poisoning last Easter. This figure remain largely unchanged from the previous two years, suggesting that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the harm that chocolate can cause to our four-legged friends.
Chocolate can be highly poisonous to pets, particularly dogs. It contains theobromine, a naturally occurring chemical found in cocoa beans, which, while safe for humans, is harmful to dogs and other animals. The level of toxicity depends on the amount and type of chocolate ingested - dark chocolate and cocoa powder are most toxic - as well as the size of the dog, with smaller dogs and puppies being most at risk.
Vets are also sounding a warning about xylitol, a sweetener typically found in low sugar chocolate and chewing gum which can be lethal to dogs if accidentally eaten and not treated promptly.