Dogs Trust

Keep your dog safe this Easter

With Easter fast approaching, we are urging dog owners to keep all chocolate safely out of the reach of our canine companions. Over the past year, many people have welcomed a dog into their home and so we want to highlight how toxic chocolate, that is meant for human consumption, can be for our furry friends.

We also want to make owners aware of the signs of chocolate toxicity in a dog, after research* conducted by PJM Noble revealed that vets are twice as likely to see dogs with chocolate poisoning at Easter.

Veterinary and Welfare Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland, Niamh Curran-Kelly said: Please make sure that children know their chocolate eggs are not for sharing with their furry friends. As toxic doses vary greatly, depending on the size of the dog and the type of chocolate ingested, if you suspect your dog has eaten any quantity of chocolate, please contact your vet for advice immediately. Prompt veterinary treatment can really improve a dog’s chances of making a full recovery”

We also recommend storing you vet’s out of hours contact number in your phone, in case of an emergency this weekend, such as your dog getting their paws on some chocolate.

What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs?

Even if your dog is showing no symptoms, but you suspect he/she may have eaten chocolate, please contact your vet as they may be able to give emergency treatment to prevent poisoning.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Tender abdomen
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excitability
  • Racing heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Tremors or in severe cases, seizures.

 How can you keep your dog safe?

  • Never feed your dog chocolate intended for humans.
  • Keep your chocolate in a safe place – this means hidden out of sight and out of reach from your dog.
  • If your egg (or any chocolate) is missing and you suspect that your dog is the culprit, contact your vet straight away.
  • It is helpful if you can tell your vet how much chocolate, and the type of chocolate, you think your dog may have ingested. If you have any packaging, take it with you to the vets.
  • The sooner treatment is implemented, the greater the chance of recovery.
  • If you want to treat your dog this Easter, we recommend you stick to dog-friendly treats (in moderation) that are kinder to your canine and always have your local vet’s emergency number saved in your phone, just in case.

*Noble, Peter-John M et al. “Heightened risk of canine chocolate exposure at Christmas and Easter.” The Veterinary record vol. 181,25 (2017): 684. doi:10.1136/vr.104762