Easter, Chocolate & Dogs

Easter. A Christian holiday that celebrates the rebirth of Jesus – with chocolate eggs! No matter how early or late Easter arrives in April, you’ll find the supermarkets stocking up on festive chocolate treats weeks before the days arrive! So, we thought we’d get in an early reminder for you just in case you’re stocking up on these sweet treats.

As a dog owner you’re probably well aware of the fact that chocolate is poisonous to dogs – but what often isn’t so clear is how much is poisonous? Well chocolate toxicity in dogs is something we have covered before so we’ll give you some tips on how to make sure your dog doesn’t over indulge this Easter!

Chocolate Toxicity

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine – a natural product produced by the cocoa bean. Theobromine is not something we humans need to worry about, we would have to consume a lot of chocolate to suffer even mild theobromine poisoning. unfortunately for dogs, it is easier for them to consume enough chocolate to become poisoned.

2 or 3 large Easter eggs is a sufficient amount to cause some problems in medium to large breeds such as the Labrador Retriever. Whilst the odd bit of chocolate is nothing to worry about, if it is obvious your dog has eaten a lot of chocolate it may be time to call the vet.

If you come home to find your stash of Easter eggs has been devoured by your dog, then you should call your vet immediately as they can administer activated charcoal, which can stop the uptake of theobromine into your dog’s blood.

However if you’re not sure whether it was your dog or your kids that munched all those chocolate eggs, signs to watch out for in your dog include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Excitability or irritability
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tremors

If you notice any of the above, then you know your kids weren’t lying and it was the dog who ate all the chocolate! If this is the case, then again, be sure to contact your vet as soon as possible.

Start Your Easter Egg Hunt Early

So what can you do to stop your dog getting at all that chocolate? Well many of us will be buying a lot of Easter eggs this Easter – especially if you have a few children, so be sure to hide them well!

Make sure you keep your Easter eggs preferably in high-up cupboards, away from the kids and the pets! We’re not suggesting you lock those eggs away, but do keep them out of reach, if your dog gets a hold of them, they can quite easily rip through the foil packaging.

Obviously as the eggs are chocolate, they have to be kept somewhere cool, so we recommend keeping them in the garage until it is time to bring them out.

Have a happy Easter and enjoy all that chocolate!


About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

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