Easter is a time for celebration in many cultures across the globe but here in the UK it can be a dangerous time for our pooches with all that chocolate, and hot cross buns full of raisins, both of which can make your dog extremely ill.
Hot Cross Buns and Simnel Cake
Grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas are all toxic to dogs and it’s believed the dried forms of these fruits are more toxic than grapes so at this time of year it’s important that hot cross buns and Simnel cake are kept well away from your dogs.
Chocolate poisoning is particularly common at this time of year, especially with the large amount of Easter eggs that may be around your home. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which can be poisonous to dogs, as well as most other animals, including cats, rodents, and rabbits. The darker and more expensive the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. So dark chocolate that’s rich in theobromine is likely to be more toxic than white chocolate, which contains very little.
Can dogs eat chocolate?Many dogs have a sweet tooth and love the delicious taste of chocolate but it is poisonous for them and could make them very unwell and, if eaten in large enough quantity, could prove fatal.
Why is chocolate so dangerous?
Chocolate contains a toxic ingredient called theobromine (a bit like caffeine). Dogs are unable to break this down, or metabolise it so it can do serious harm.
Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous as it usually has the higher levels of theobromine but it’s also found in milk chocolate.
Theobromine mainly affects a dog’s guts, heart, central nervous system and kidneys.
If you have any doubts that your dog has ingested chocolate consult your vet immediately – don’t wait.
What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning?
The signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning will vary depending on the size, age and breed of your dog and the amount they have eaten.
The symptoms include:
Vomiting (which may include blood)
Increased heart rate
Easter is the perfect time of year to give a gift of spring flowers and bulbs, but make sure you keep them well out of reach of your dog – particularly if they like to chew or dig in the garden.
Daffodils are poisonous to dogs if they eat the bulbs or flowers, or drink water from a vase with daffodils in.
They can give your dog an upset stomach, make them vomit, and make them very sleepy and wobbly. A dog that’s been poisoned by daffodils might also have fits.
Tulips can irritate your dog’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Normally they will only experience drooling, being sick and diarrhoea, but heart problems and difficulty breathing are also signs of tulip poisoning.
What should I do if I think my dog has been poisoned?
If you think your dog has been poisoned by anything, you need to act quickly. Contact your vet as soon as your pet shows signs of being ill.
It’s a good idea to write down the details of anything you think your dog has ingested, when they ate/drank it, how much they have swallowed, and what symptoms they have been experiencing.
If you have seen your dog eat something that they shouldn’t, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Call your vet immediately and ask for their advice.
Easter carrot hunt
Swap chocolate eggs for carrots to ensure that your dog doesn’t miss out on an exciting game of hide and seek. Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fibre and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching a carrot is great for your dog's teeth (and fun) and included in many dog foods. Get the whole family involved with hiding the carrots and encouraging your dog to find them all.
A good run around is what dogs love most and having some healthy carrot treats to sniff out and eat will make it extra special!
Happy Easter from all of us at Barking Bags!