dachshund in doctor uniform with medicine and pills on table

The Dogtor – Easter Dangers for dogs and how to avoid

Hi proud dog-parents. The Dogtor (your very own canine consultant) is here with some advice for how to keep your dog safe this Easter – a time for celebration, of rebirth and the coming of spring.  Unfortunately, it also brings one or two potential dangers for dogs.

Keep chocolate out of reach

This is my main reason for alerting you, my friends. Bunnies may well be hopping around, chicklets hatching, and flowers blooming, but there is one big danger lurking.  Easter is a time for chocolate!

Most humans like the taste of chocolate and so do us dogs.  Unfortunately though, it is poisonous for us, and makes us feel unwell.  This is because it contains a substance called Theobromine, which dogs can’t metabolise like humans can.  It affects their kidneys, nervous system, heart and stomach.  The severity will depend on a number of things.

During Easter, more likely than usual, that someone might leave a bar of chocolate, or chocolate egg around.  They may simply forget how harmful it is for their pet. 

Therefore, rather than the chance of waking in the morning and find foil wrapper on the floor (and your chocolate finished), take extra care to keep chocolate out of reach!

Effect of chocolate on dogs

So, how badly does an intake of chocolate effect your dog?

Well, the severity all depends a range of things, from how much they eat, their size and weight, and the type of chocolate they eat. The purer the chocolate, the more severe the symptoms will be.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate, have the highest levels of Theobromine, followed by dark chocolate.  After these, milk and white chocolate contain relatively small amounts, as you can see below:

Cooking or baking chocolate (dark)16mg per gramme
Dark chocolate5.5mg  ”         “
Milk chocolate2.4mg  ”         “
White Chocolate0.01mg ”        “

Consider age and size

You also need to consider your dog’s age and weight/ size.   Older ones will be affected worse than younger ones, as will smaller canines to larger. Therefore, if you have a small dog that has eaten a large bar of chocolate call the vet immediately. Most effects will occur around 2 hours after ingestion.  Symptoms will normally include vomiting.

Theobramine can kill

Large amounts of theobromine can bring on muscle spasms, seizure, or even internal bleeding and heart attack.  Dogs will normally display hyperactivity in response.

If you have a fairly sizeable dog that has eaten a few bars of milk chocolate, though, it is unlikely it will be severely harmed.

Hot cross buns – another Easter peril for dogs

Another Easter food that is no good for dogs is hot cross buns. They include currents that are also toxic for dogs. Hence, it is important that you keep these and chocolate kept well away from your dog’s reach.  If you have children, make them aware of the possible consequences and ask them to do the same.

Try dog-friendly chocolate substitute

Why not take a look at our DIY recipe for creating your own dog-friendly Easter egg, so your pet can join in the fun. Also, check out our companion article, How to include your dog in Easter celebrations.

Happy Easter!

The Dogtor

Want to give your dogs something great each month? Try our themed boxes!

What’s your Reaction?