Easter is just around the corner, and the Easter eggs hunts are about to begin. We all know that dogs have a great sense of smell, so they’re likely to sniff out Easter eggs before the family. Your fur buddies should stay well away from any Easter eggs to avoid the risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs.

Chocolate poisoning occurs mainly in dogs, but occasionally, cats and other animals can suffer too. Dogs have a sweet tooth and therefore more commonly affected than cats.

Toxic Compound in Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains the compound theobromine, an alkaloid stimulant similar to caffeine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and other pets.

The concentration of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder and baking chocolates have higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate. White chocolate, because it does not contain non-fat cocoa solids, only chocolate liquor, contains only trace amounts of theobromine but can still cause problems to your pets.

The toxicity of theobromine is dose-related, which means that the overall effect of chocolate ingestion on the dog depends on the size of the dog, the amount and the type of chocolate consumed.

Other compounds found in chocolate that may cause issues in pets are caffeine, high amounts of fat, sugars and other sweeteners.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs and Other Pets

Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs depend on the amount and type of chocolate ingested. The signs can take hours to develop and can last for days.

  • Most common symptoms are:
    Vomiting
    Diarrhea
    Restlessness
    Hyperactivity
    Trembling
    Increased drinking and urination
    Excessive panting
  • More extreme effects are:
    Muscle tremors
    Seizures
    Collapse
    Cardiac Arrest
    Death

If you suspect chocolate poisoning in dogs or other pets, consult your vet immediately. Unfortunately, there is no specific antidote for pets that have ingested chocolate. However, the good news is that most pets treated for chocolate toxicity recover and return to normal within 24–48 hours of treatment.

So this coming Easter, let your pets join in the fun but make sure only humans enjoy the chocolate treats and not your furry friends.

For more articles on how to take care of your pets, click HERE

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