As 73% of pet owners admit to being aware of the dangers Easter can bring, Natures Menu’s veterinary team share their tips.
Natures Menu, the UK’s number one for raw and natural pet food is reminding owners to keep their chocolate out of paws’ reach this Easter, as three quarters of the nation admit they’re not aware that chocolate is dangerous to pets.
This Easter will be very different with families advised to spend the Bank Holiday weekend indoors with their canine companions – making it even more important to keep a look out for chocolate related hazards, as people stock up on their Easter eggs.
Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education for Natures Menu, explains the hazards chocolate poses to dogs: “While humans know that eating too much chocolate over Easter can cause them to feel sick, it’s surprising to see that many are still unaware that just a bite of chocolate could prove fatal for dogs. It’s down to the toxic ingredients called theobromine, a naturally occurring chemical found in cocoa beans, which can cause kidney failure, seizures and even death.
“The amount of theobromine in chocolate varies, however darker chocolate tends to contain higher-levels than milk or white chocolate. Humans are able to metabolise theobromine, but dogs lack the vital enzyme required to break it down effectively, which is why it can be really dangerous if consumed. With this in mind, make sure you keep chocolate out of sight and smell from furry friends.
“An additional risk, especially at this time of year is an ingredient called Xylitol. This is regularly used as a sugar replacement in many sugar-free foods, as it contains far less calories than real sugar but is highly toxic to dogs in small amounts. It can be found in foods such as peanut butter, sugar-free sweets, mints and many more. Keeping all sweets and treats out of dog’s reach is highly advised.
“While a lot of us are stocking up on treats during this difficult time, it doesn’t mean that we have to leave our canine companions out of the celebrations. You can look to satisfy them with a dog friendly treat such as our Country Hunter Chewy Superfood Bars, which can be delivered direct to your door through our home delivery service. These bars are suitable for all dogs and made with great tasting natural ingredients, while being rich in protein.”
Natures Menu has shared its top tips to help dog owners avoid an unexpected trip to the vets this Easter, as well as the symptoms to look out for to identify if your dog is suffering from chocolate toxicity:
The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appear within 12 hours and can last up to three days. These include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of consciousness
1 Keep chocolate out of paws’ reach! If you have a dog that can sniff out the sweet stuff, keep it out of sight and smell.
2 Never feed your dog chocolate intended for humans. Make sure you have a dog-friendly treat available, so they don’t feel left out.
3 If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t panic. Call your vet immediately for advice and make sure you have the packaging to hand.